NCHPAD Mentor logo, the words "MyScorecard: Mindfulness" are below it. The text overlays a colorful background.

MyScorecard: Mindfulness

We’re often told to think positively when we feel sad or stressed, but it’s not uncommon for our minds to have negative thoughts.

Negative thought patterns exist because of early survival skills everyone develops to prevent us from harm. This pattern could be from a perceived danger, learned experience from a previous negative situation or life uncertainties.

If left unchecked, negative thought patterns can create deeper anxiety, worry and anguish. But what tools can we use to control our thoughts and emotions?

In the NCHPAD MENTOR program, we focus on multiple domains of wellness through the acronym MY SCORECARD. The first letter in MY SCORECARD, M, may be the most important. It stands for “Minding your thoughts and emotions.”

So how can we mind our thoughts and emotions? Mindfulness, one of the main parts of the MENTOR program, can help.

Here are some of the benefits of Mindfulness from Emily Hornsby, NCHPAD Mindfulness Curriculum Coordinator:

Mindfulness and meditation help us to be more open and accepting of the difficulties and joys of life – just as they are. Scientific research indicates that the practice of mindfulness and meditation can have the following benefits:

1. It changes the brain so that the individual experiences more happiness and well-being.

2. Improves attention.

3. Lowers stress.

4. Improves thinking and quality of life.

5. Positively changes responses to pain.

6. Lowers anxiety.

7. Improves mental fatigue.

8. Increases calm and focus.

9. Improves the quality of life for caregivers and survivors.

10. Improves the ability to attain goals.

11. Enhances self-resilience.

With these benefits, it is easy to see how practicing mindfulness and meditation can positively contribute to all the other domains of wellness, from being more present in our relationships and our time in nature to knowing when we need to practice self-care or rest and relax. Mindfulness and Meditation can provide a portal to our spiritual practice, and it is a self-care skill available to all of us. Being present with mindful eating and exercise can help us with our weight management and overall health.

When we look inward through mindfulness practice and meditation, we can see with more clarity what our core values are, and we are better equipped to focus our attention on contributing to others as-opposed-to being fixated on worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. Mindfulness and Meditation are tools that can help us with all the wellness domains in MY SCORECARD.

Mindfulness can help prevent negative thought patterns that turn into reactions. Awareness of a negative thought pattern and stopping it from becoming an emotion can prevent a negative reaction.

Living well and managing the day-to-day stresses of difficult life’s situations like finances, emotional setbacks, relationship difficulties and job burdens start by placing the mind in the right mindset or simply staying in the now.

Think of Mindfulness as an anchor in your life that you can return to when stress, anxiety and negative feelings start to impact your life.

Watch some of our Mindfulness videos here on our YouTube channel.

To learn more about the MENTOR program and join today, visit our MENTOR page.