Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to an activity that’s presently taking action. It is also considered a form of meditation whereby one centers their body and mind fully on one thing at a time.
Through this, one is able to clear the mind off the mishaps of the past and the worries of tomorrow. At that point, nothing else matters but what’s at hand. This way, you stand a chance at channeling all of your energy where it’s needed for maximum productivity and inert peace.
With the busy lives that we lead today, it is possible to glide through life absent-mindedly: to exist without necessarily living. The fine, fun and exciting aspects of our lives tend to go by unnoticed and unappreciated. With time, we gradually lose the essence of life.
Mindfulness is also known as awareness. The power of being alert to all that’s around us and absorbing/recognizing every single detail of it. This kind of awareness can help improve our lives in various ways. Through it, we are able to appreciate all the beauty and goodness that exists around us.
How Does Lack of Mindfulness Affect Life?
Without mindfulness, we are bound to lose the essence of life. If we are blind to reality, it then means that we are enslaved within the narrow walls inside our heads.
Normally, our thoughts dictate the value of the lives that we live; negative thoughts lead to a low quality of life whereby the glass is always viewed as half empty instead of half full.
What is the Importance of Mindfulness?
When we open ourselves to mindfulness, life begins to have meaning. With an open mind paired up with awareness, we take in even the smallest of aspects that life has to offer; birds chirping, children giggling, a friend’s wink, frogs hopping, the wind blowing, smell of the grass, the heat of the coffee in your mug and so much more. These help to reconnect your body to your mind. The sensation awakens your being in every sense.
Why and How Can I Achieve Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is known to help alleviate symptoms of stress, recurring depression, anxiety, panic attacks and so much more. Once a person is able to master mindfulness and gain control of their thoughts, they are able to take charge of their mental health.
Mindfulness doesn’t come naturally to everyone. However, there are specific exercises that can help you achieve it. These exercises are a means of gaining control of your mind and thoughts. They help you pay focus on the present and shut out any other lingering thoughts.
Normally, exercises to promote Mindfulness include; yoga, meditation and breathing. These enable you to become one with your thoughts, sensations and feelings instead of being overwhelmed or intimidated by them. These exercises will also help to boost your concentration and attention, improve relationships and create insight on emotions.
There are several ways to master the art of mindfulness, for instance, group/individual sessions with a teacher and taking online courses. Anyone can take these classes; children, youth and adults and you don’t have to be religious or spiritual to practice it.
There also are instances where mindfulness exercises are recommended. This is especially so for people who suffer mental illnesses as well as those who wish to improve and maintain optimal mental health. Mindful Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is proven to be highly effective in helping people cope with stress. On the other hand, Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a form of therapy that is designed to help people deal with recurring depression. Both of these mental health therapies teach flexible set of skills which help to support a person’s wellbeing as well as manage their mental health.
Of What Benefit is Mindfulness Meditation?
Did you know that mindful meditation affects how one’s brain works? It’s true. It also affects the structure of the brain with time. A medical study performed on people who practice this form of meditation showed increased activity in the pre-frontal cortex. This is the area of the brain that is associated with positive emotion. People who are depressed record less activity in this region.
A change in brain wave activity has also been noted in people undertaking this form of meditation. Additionally, researchers have discovered that people who have been meditating for 5 or more years have a larger part of the brain that’s stringed to emotional regulation.
Who Can Benefit from Mindfulness?
One doesn’t have to be religious in order to practice this form of meditation. This means that people from all walks of life can apply it in their lives and reap the many benefits associated with it. Currently, mindfulness is being practiced in different aspects of life.
Children and young adults are being taught about mindfulness in schools. This has brought positive results in reducing anxiety, improving wellbeing and reducing distress and also improving their behavior. In the year 2007, successful mindfulness was set up in schools as a 9-week course project. Currently, this is taught in 12 different countries in the world. It effectively helps students to deal better with exam related stress, bullying, pressure to perform and improve concentration.
Women who practice the techniques of mindfulness; meditation, breathing are more likely to handle postpartum stress better than those who do not. They are also more likely to go through the birthing process better and faster.
In the year 2007 at the Massachusetts Correctional Facility, the practice of mindfulness has been noted to help inmates significantly. Great improvements in form of reduced hostility, improved self-esteems and temper control were recorded among inmates who practice mindfulness.
The working population has been known to record higher productivity, better concentration levels, ability to multi-task, better memory, improved quality of sleep and autonomic balance.
Just like any other form of meditation, mindfulness can be practiced by anyone and at any given time regardless of one’s spirituality. It can be performed in any comfortable position; sitting, standing or even lying down. It can also be performed anywhere; office, park bench, bedroom, vacation, out on a walk which means that you can gain control over your thoughts whenever need be. There is no particular position that one has to station themselves when practicing it. You only have to be comfortable. You can do as many meditation sessions as you need until you get it right. The art of mindfulness is a life skill that everyone should invest in.