Unlock The Power Of The Mind With The Best Mindfulness Techniques
What Is Mind Training?
Mind training, or brain training, can help all children, teens, and adults, with limitless benefits. Training our mind through mindfulness exercises and activities can help us all think or behave in a different way through the subconscious mind.
Popular mind/body training programs are also called cognitive training and mindfulness activities. Through more mindful thinking and behavior, we can improve our mind and mindfulness in the classroom, in the office, and in life.
For many people, the exercises we practice can help kids/teens/adults take control of their mind-body connection.
People have been studying the mind-body connection since Aristotle. Dualists believed that the brain and mind are separate but Descartes believed that the mind is independent of the brain. As of today, no evidence has proven that your mind exists independent of your brain. But there is a lot of evidence that shows that your mind is what your brain does. Simply put, mind training is the exercises and activities your brain practices.
Why Is Mind Training Beneficial?
Anxiety and depression is the #1 reason why many beginners start training their mind.
Are you anxious? In addition to anxiety relief, the key benefits of mind training include better awareness, peace of mind, focus, memory, logic, reasoning and overall mental and physical health and fitness.
The significance of the mind-body connection is profound. By practicing mindfulness, you learn to improve the relationships between your brain, mind, body, behavior and their effect on your health and wellbeing.
In it for the long-term? Unlike many other types of training, mind training can improve your healthy lifestyle and wellness over the long-term.
According to Cornell University, supporting your well-being is one area can have benefits in other areas of your life too. Your subconscious mind has a great impact on your body. As a result, it affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It may even cure disease.
Simply put: your subconscious mind can make miracles happen for kids, teens and adults in the classroom/office/home.
How Do You Train Your Mind?
Focused exercises and activities are popular solutions for mindfulness practice. Though there’s a lot of exercises and activities to practice mindfulness, one of the most effective mind training techniques is visualization. Many of the most popular brain training programs focus on visualization for OCD, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, etc.
When you visualize, you create a mental image of something which you want to achieve. There are many games, coloring books and apps for mindfulness than can help teach you. Personally, I believe music is more powerful than anything.
What Is Neuroplasticity?
The revolution of neuroplasticity is rooted in helping people improve human performance through the reorganization of creation of new neural connections in response to new information received.
In a nutshell, neuroplasticity is responsible for rewiring the brain to strengthen it. Neuroplasticity helps the brain heal, change and grow.
How Does Neuroplasticity Work?
Neuroplasticity involves many processes throughout your lifetime.
Simply put: neuroplasticity catapults our ability to learn new skills and develop our physical and mental health and human performance.
Through learning, we can all serve as students and teachers to help make the world more mindful and healthy.
Is Neuroplasticity Possible?
Yes, neuroplasticity is possible. There are many ways to rewire your brain and optimize your mind with individual and group activities.
According to studies, here are some effective activities or healthy lifestyle habits:
1. Get enough quality sleep
2. Be active and live like an elite athlete
4. Manage your stress naturally
5. Set personal and professional goals
6. Create schedules and stick to them
7. Find a purpose that motivates and inspires you
8. Never stop learning and be a sponge to new information and ideas
9. Follow a plant-based diet and stay hydrated with alkaline water
10. Practice the exercises at the end of this article
What Are The Different Types Of Mind Training?
There are many different types, including:
– Mindfulness exercises or activities
– Positive affirmations
– Breathing strategies
– Mindful eating
– Mindful breathing
– Mindful living
Working on your subconscious mind is a conscious choice.
By improving your focus on the present moment, and observation, you prepare yourself to recognize challenges in real life.
In doing so, you can tackle the challenges and live and overcome them.
Want proof? Observe some friends and family members during the pandemic. People with a consistent practice typically handle the stresses of a global crisis in the best way.
Do Mindfulness Exercises Really Work?
Practicing mindfulness exercises, or activities, involves focusing on being completely aware of your senses, without judging or interpreting. You simply observe stuff.
According to Harvard, mindfulness exercises really work to improve both your physical and mental health. Harvard claims they may lower your stress levels, blood pressure, chronic pain, gastrointenstinal issues, heart problems and lots more.
The thing is:
You need to actually practice them. But don’t worry! I’ve simplified the best ways to practice below.
How Do You Become More Mindful?
Becoming more mindful is simple. It’s not always easy. But simple, always.
There are some easy ways you can become more mindful through your daily activities. And they’re simple!
By bringing more awareness to your routine activities, you pay more attention while you are showering, brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, eating breakfast, sunbathing, walking, hiking, running, biking, etc.
Paying attention is how you become more mindful.
What Foods Give You Energy & Boost Your Mood?
You already know that fatty fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and may lower your risk of depression because they contain high levels of two important omega-3s: DHA & EPA.
In some studies, consuming omega-3 fish oil lowered depression scores. 250-mg of combined EPA and DHA is the standard dose. For example, a 3.5 ounce serving of salmon provides 2,260 mg of EPA and DHA.
Dark chocolate is also a food that can boost your mood. Although the dose is low, dark chocolate contains compounds such as theobromine and N-acylethanolamne which may trigger a positive psychological response.
Also, dark chocolate has a high hedonic rating, meaning that its smell, taste, and texture may elevate mood.
In addition, the flavonoids in dark chocolate may increase blood flow to your brain and boost brain health. I recommend dark chocolate of 90% or more cocoa solids because it has less sugar. Keep your serving size to only 2-3 small squares.
Foods that support gut health often enhance mood too.
For example, fermented foods created probiotics and healthy bacteria grows in your gut. As a result, your serotonin levels may increase. 90% of your serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences your mood, is produced by healthy bacteria in your gut. And this plays a role in brain health.
Recent studies show a relationship between gut health and lower rates of depression. Kombucha, kimchi, and kefir may give you the boost you need.
Oats can boost your mood too.
Since fiber helps regulate sugar in your blood stream, and oats are an excellent source of fiber, oats can help control mood swings. Also, oats are a great source of iron and a low iron intake can cause symptoms such as fatigue, sluggishness, irritability, and lead to mood disorders. Research has shown a boost in mood after eating iron-rich foods.
Seeds and nuts are also high in healthy fiber as well as healthy fats.
Like with fermented foods, these plant-based proteins also boost your serotonin levels. A 10-year study linked a moderate consumption of nuts to a 23% lower risk of depression. I suggest almonds and pine nuts because they also contain selenium and zinc which also improve your brain function and lower your risk of depression-related symptoms.
Dark berries contact antioxidants which can help manage inflammation associated with mood disorders and depression.
Studies have shown that antioxidants play a role in balancing compounds in your body to improve your mood. Purple-blue berries such as blueberries are highly recommended because they are high in anthocyanins which has been shown to lower your risk of depression symptoms by 39%.
The Best Mindfulness Activities For All (Kids, Teens & Adults)
Activity #1: Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness exercises, especially meditation, is for everyong: kids, teens, adults.
Beginner? Here is a simple summary of how to begin a new level of mindfulness exercise.
- Find a place where it’s comfortable and quiet. Make sure it’s a place that it will remain that way for the exercise.
- To begin the exercise, it’s helpful to set a timer for 10 minutes, but after more experience, you can increase the time you do mindfulness activities.
- Focus on the present moment by concentrating on your breathing. Think about your breath as it initiates and then leaves your body.
- Before long, your mind will think about something else. It’s at this moment you want to simply notice it. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Think of yourself as an observer of your brain. Now, get back to the breath.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Frustration and boredom are common distractions but they’re also opportunities to practice mindfulness. Again, simply bring your mind back to the breath.
- Focus on where your mind goes. Simple observe and accept it. Now, again, focus on your breath. Repeat this process until your timer goes off, or until you are ready to finish this simple activity.
Enjoy having less anxiety and feeling better overall.
Whether you’re trying to improve your performance in school, in the boardroom, or in life, mindfulness meditation is a powerful yet simple exercise that can skyrocket your mindset to a new level.
Activity #2: Body Scan
During the body scan exercise, focus on your body. More specifically, pay attention to any physical sensations throughout your body.
This mindfulness activity is not about relaxation or reaching enlightenment. Rather, simply observe the physical sensations you feel physically.
Focus, and refocus, on moving slowly.
- Begin by paying attention to the physical sensations in your feet. Observe any feelings of warmth, coolness, pressure, pain, or simply the airconditioning or a gust of wind.
- Next, work the focus of your mind up your body. Think about your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, back, chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, hands, fingers, neck, and finally your head. Be mindful of each body part and work your way up slowly. Again, just observe the physical sensations.
- After reaching the top of your body, and head, begin to move back down. If you get distracted, bring your breath and focus back to observing the physical sensations.
With a more mindful lifestyle, you’ll improve your ability to simply observe. By becoming a better observer, you’ll feel more gratitude and peace of mind.
Activity #3: Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a fun activity that begins with selecting a food you want to eat. It’s best to pick a snack that you can fit in one hand. Here are some ideas:
- A bite of dark chocolate
Simple foods make practicing mindful eating better.
Ready? Let’s go.
Here are easy step-by-step suggestions…
- Before you pick up your food, observe its appearance:
- Now, pick up the food. Focus on what you feel and how it feels. Play with the food. Roll and move it around your fingers. Observe the smoothness, roughness, slickness, softness, firmness, etc.
- It’s time to get a whiff of the food. Simply hold the food to your nostrils and observe the deliciousness.
- Since you’re probably getting hungry now, place the food on your tongue. Don’t chew or eat it. Notice how the food feels on your tongue. Move it around your mouth and observe the way it feels. Focus on the difference and similarities in feelings between your hand and mouth. Keep moving it around your mouth and observe.
- Finally, it’s time to chew your food. Observe how it feels to bite into it. Notice the texture on the outside and inside. Focus on the delicious flavor. Pay attention to the physical changes that occur when you chew it and move it around your mouth. For many mindful eaters, we feel our saliva, the feeling of hot or cold, and other sensations.
That’s all for now. Let me know if you’ve had a great experience with any of these helpful activities.