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The benefits of practicing mindfulness, and 4 easy ways to do it

What is mindfulness, and why is everybody talking about it lately? Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment. It’s easier said than done in a world of technology and distractions, but can result in serious benefits when made part of a regular routine. Veterans who experience mental health conditions, or physical conditions, can benefit from mindfulness.

What are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?

The short answer is that there’s a lot of benefits. Studies have concluded this practice brings about multiple positive benefits for mental health, which can in turn benefit our physical health. Regular practice of mindfulness – even if you’re just incorporating a little bit into each day – can yield the following:

  • Improved concentration

  • Lower stress, anxiety, and depression

  • Better sleep quality

  • Pain relief

  • And more

Here are a few different ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine:

Try a simple breathing exercise

Doing a simple breathing exercise (such as 4-7-8 breathing) can reduce stress and anxiety immediately, plus help you sleep. This simple exercise is completed by inhaling for a count of 4, holding your breath for a count of 7, and then exhaling for a count of 8. This method of deep, mindful breathing has proven to be effective in reducing anxiety. Since anxiety is a common symptom of PTSD, a mental health condition affecting many Veterans, this is a highly useful practice.

Download a meditation app

You’ll mostly want to avoid screens when being mindful – but there are some meditation apps that can help you tune into the present moment with audio guidance. Here are a few of the top rated mindfulness apps on the market:

Identify and engage all 5 senses

Tuning into the present moment can be as easy as noticing all that is going on around you, and how that impacts each of your 5 senses. To bring yourself back into the now, try naming all that you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. You can just think about it, or write it down in a journal if you’d like. This is a great way to halt anxious thoughts when you’re trapped in either the past or the present.

Tune into the way your body feels

Our bodies are constantly working behind the scenes, 24/7 and 365 days of the year. It’s easy to forget all of the inner workings when we’re dealing with so much on the exterior. To tune in to the way your body feels in the present moment, simply sit or lie still and ask yourself some questions. The following are a good place to start:

  • Do any areas of my body feel tense?

  • Are there any particular sensations that stand out?

  • What parts of my body are feeling the most?

Get mindful about your VA disability claims

…By letting us do the heavy lifting for you. Our team of professionals are ready to assist you in whatever way will benefit you the most. When you’re ready for support, head to our services page here and get started ASAP. You can also sign up for an expert chart review here.

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