In a world that seems to be growing more and more chaotic, mindfulness is as important as ever. A tool for helping us to find the stillness that exists beneath currents of thoughts, feelings, and activity, mindfulness can help us to find a sense of peace amidst all that we’re faced with.
The beginning of this new decade has unveiled challenges that most of us have never seen in this lifetime. From the covid-19 pandemic to geopolitical tensions to racial injustice and more, there is really a lot that we have to navigate. This is why mindfulness is important more than ever now: as fear-inducing events increase, we are invited to consider new ways of relating to that fear and to the events that stir it.
Here are 5 reasons why now is an opportune time to begin or deepen your mindfulness practice:
5 Reasons Why Mindfulness is Important During These Times
Mindfulness can be an effective tool for reducing anxiety.
With so much going on around us, it is understandable if we are experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety. Since mindfulness practice can initiate the relaxation response, these exercises can be effective techniques in helping us to relax when inner tension is high.
Mindfulness of breathing practices, though simple, have a profound effect on the body’s stress response. As the nervous system relaxes, we begin to see our concerns from a broader, clearer perspective. It’s also been shown that mindfulness may improve immunity.
Mindfulness can help us to better understand other people.
As tensions increase between different groups of people, one of the things we will need to consider in order to find harmony and healing in our society is how we can bridge the gaps that divide us. How can we reconnect to the humanity of one another and work towards finding common ground? Mindfulness can facilitate this process in two ways.
First, it helps us to better understand our own inner world, and in doing so, we come to better understand that of others. Secondly, mindfulness practices such as metta meditation invite us to consciously reconnect with the humanity in all living things. This understanding can improve the way we relate to one another during difficulty.
Mindfulness can increase our ability to effectively navigate our emotions.
Another way that mindfulness can help us is by deepening our awareness of our emotions and enabling us to more effectively and harmoniously navigate them. As we dive deeper into our emotions, we naturally begin to ‘respond’ to the world rather than to unconsciously ‘react’ to it.
This can help us to find a greater sense of inner peace and make us more resilient to external happenings. In addition, this emotional awareness can facilitate our ability to communicate more effectively with others.
Mindfulness can help us to see the beauty of the world.
While we cannot argue that there are troubling things happening in the world, there is also much beauty. Another reason why mindfulness is important (especially during these trying times) is that it can help us to find balance in our perspective of the world as it encourages us to practice gratitude.
This is not about denying the difficulties that we or others in the world are facing, but it does encourage us to broaden our perceptions. What can you be grateful for in this very moment? Make note in your head of your present-moment blessings or jot down your reflections in a journal.
Mindfulness can help us to forge a new, inspired way forward.
Lastly, though it is understandable if we are experiencing increased stress and anxiety during these trying times, a chronic state of fear will not facilitate our ability to move forward. Mindfulness practice increases resilience, and as it helps us to shift from a stress state to a more expansive one, it is likely to promote new ideas about how we might navigate the world.
Through practice, we ground ourselves – and when we feel grounded, we are in a better position to extend ourselves courageously and compassionately into the world. This courage, this strength, and this compassion is what this world needs now more than ever.