Strength, speed and endurance are key components to being fit and healthy, but I think most people tend to ignore the importance of making sure you are mentally healthy. Mindfulness is a practice of looking inward and allowing yourself to live in the present. With life as hectic as it is, it is important to take some time to focus on mental health. It is easy to get very caught up in the world of media, crazy work schedules, and trying to have a social life, we forget about ourselves and we need for our mental health.
Think about the last time you really took some time to yourself and what was going on in your head. Did you actually sit in silence, not doing anything, and just taking time to just breathe and let your mind flow? It's important to live in the present, not in the past or future, to be able to understand and appreciate the now. When you focus too much on the future, the present will soon become the past, you will miss the journey that it takes to get to the future, which is usually more important than the destination. Focusing too much on the past, and you forget to think about what your next step is, forgetting to work towards something and failing to get the lessons that you would from reaching towards that goal.
Mindfulness is no easy task, it takes time, practice, and patience. Most successful people in the world practice mindfulness daily. It allows the mind to flow freely and for you to connect with yourself on a new level than you have been able to in the past. I like to achieve mindfulness through the practice of yoga and movement. The flow of yoga allows me to work with my breath and reach myself at a new level that I don't get from running around and doing my daily tasks, or from sitting at home and reading a book or watching TV. It is also good to just sit and be in the moment, not thinking about your day or what you need to do next. Just let your own thoughts flow about what you are feeling and allow your mind to open to new ideas. There are many ways that you can practice this and everybody has the way that works best for them. Everybody is different, and just like different workouts, one size does not fit all. Everybody has the potential to try and do all of the different forms, but what matters most, is which would be most effective for you, and which makes the most sense. Is it just sitting and thinking, not judging yourself and allowing yourself to focus on the moment? Is it noticing what you are sensing, such as the smells in the air, the wind or lack of, the sounds that have started to be in the background, noticing how present these actually are? Or, is it practicing through movement?
This is a technique to help with health conditions, mentally and physically allowing yourself to slow down and be is just as important as staying active. Don't get stuck focusing only on the goal you are trying to achieve, or the glories or failures that you have had in the past. There is no changing the past and what you do in this very moment is what writes out your future, and how you reach your goals and destinations. The future and the past are both important and both make up who you are, but the present is the most important thing. Spend time on yourself, treat yourself well, and don't let today pass you by.