The Impact of Mindfulness on Our Health and Wellbeing
"Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience." –Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is simply defined as paying attention to our present-moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to stay with what is. It is the very opposite of ruminations and entertaining negative thoughts by default.
It is a heightened alertness that teaches us to come back and stay in the moment. It is heightened attention that teaches our minds to not run fast into the future or run back into the past. Mindfulness teaches us to not fall into "auto-pilot" but instead to live fully in the here-and-now and have joy, gratitude, and calmness. It allows us to have FULL experience of what it means to be alive here, today.
What are the potential benefits of mindfulness? It:
- reduces stress
- improves attention
- helps cultivate self-awareness
- helps cultivate emotional regulation
- helps improve relationships
- is an effective self-care tool
To better understand mindfulness and health research, watch this short UCLAMD chat about "Mindfulness for Health and Wellbeing."
When you’re going about your daily routines, try answering these questions whether it’s a task you like or dislike:
What are you doing?
Is your mind on it?
How is your mood?
Staying fully aware and connected to the every detail of what you do as you do it leads to general happiness.
On the other hand, for times when you need to step away from the hustle and stress of it all, pause a bit and try this 5-minute meditation.
By being more mindful, you become a better friend to yourself little by little by little –helping boost your wellbeing.
“Feel the feeling but don’t become the emotion. Witness it. Allow it. Release it.” –Crystal Andrus
But then, why are some people more resilient while others more vulnerable to life's slings & arrows and more likely to develop depression & anxiety?
Neuroplasticity is the ability of our brains to constantly change and transform depending on the forces surroundings us. Britannica describes it as the "capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behavior in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage, or dysfunction." Oftentimes, we have very little control over those forces. BUT we can actually take more responsibility for our own brains by transforming our minds. A 2010 published work called, "A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind" helps us understand that an unmindful lifestyle can impact our life in FOUR major ways:
1- Distractibility (i.e. lack of attention)
3- Negative self-talk and depression
4- Loss of meaning and purpose in life
On the contrary, the FOUR pillars of a healthy mind include:
1- Awareness: ability to focus attention and to practice meta-awareness
2- Connection: ability to nurture harmonious interpersonal relationships
3- Insight: using positive self beliefs and narratives as a true description of who you are –thus improving wellbeing
4- Purpose: having a sense that your life is headed a particular direction and taking on activities that lead to this direction
Have you ever trained your mind? Learn more in Dr. Richard J. Davidson's short talk about "How mindfulness changes the emotional life of our brains." We can see that mindfulness, neuroplasticity, and overall wellness are intimately tied to each other.
So, start someplace today. Carve out 3 minutes per day to practice mindfulness. Nourish your mind and you can surely -and gradually- change your world. JarvisHypnotherapy can help you build habits to develop a more mindful lifestyle.
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." -Buddha