I visited Sri Lanka in 2012. It was such a beautiful and spiritual place. The people seemed so peaceful and kind. Visiting the many temples was an experience I’ll never forget.
At the time mindfulness was becoming more popular in the West, and was gaining research evidence to support its effectiveness. It was humbling to see that the Buddhists had been practising for thousands of years. They knew of it’s benefits without the randomised controlled trials.
Mindfulness can be defined simply as present moment awareness and attention. There has been good research evidence to suggest that regular mindfulness practice can reduce anxiety and depression, and improve psychological well-being. Apps such as Headspace can be great for learning mindfulness techniques and trying out different exercises.
Mindfulness and also yoga can increase our awareness of our own thoughts and feelings (introspection) and can create a helpful distance between ourselves and our thoughts. It can also allow us to become more in tune with our body sensations (known as Interoception). With practise we can start to use these skills in day to day life. If we are more aware of ourselves, and in tune with our own needs, this can have a huge positive impact on our well-being.