by Anita Penn
Mindfulness, as conceptualized in the Western community is the self-regulation of attention with an attitude of openness, curiosity and acceptance.
This article will outline the current scientific understanding of how mindfulness improves the brains’ ability to process emotions in more health promoting ways. Research continues to emerge linking mindfulness based meditation to better physical and mental health. Here are the many reasons you should start living in the moment TODAY.
Mindfulness and Increased Happiness
Research continues to emerge linking mindfulness based meditation to better physical and mental health. Here are the many reasons you should start living in the moment. The Physical and Mental benefits are explained in this graphic organizer.
Acts of Kindness
Acts of kindness can boost one's health and happiness. People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains, better overall physical health, and less depression. This infographic gives you 25 - See more at: http://visual.ly/why-doing-good-good-your-health#sthash.2yhlRGTa.dpuf
Why Be Mindful?
Mindfulness, as conceptualized in the Western scientific community, is the self-regulation of attention with an attitude of openness, curiosity and acceptance (Bishop et al., 2004).
The importance of mindfulness has been recognized for centuries. There are many traditional formal mindful awareness practices, such as yoga, tai chi and meditation. Mindful awareness can also be cultivated through psychotherapy, art, music, dance, massage, and sports to name a few. When including meditation among mindfulness practices, it needs to be recognized that there are different kinds of meditation, just like there are many different kinds of physical activity. Some kinds of meditation are specifically designed to develop mindfulness just like some forms of physical activity are a great way to get a cardio workout.
A Quick Lesson
A Mindfulness Exercise
A personal experience of mindfulness will help you understand the process.
Start by closing your eyes and choosing a focus for your breath. It can be at your nostrils, your chest, or the rise and fall of your abdomen, wherever you feel your breath most naturally. Keep your focus on your breath at that place, and follow the breath in and then out again for the duration of the exercise. When you notice that your attention has gone elsewhere, such as to thoughts like “I’m breathing too fast or too slow” or “I’m not comfortable” or when your attention has wandered completely away, out of the room even, notice that and acknowledge the source of the distraction in an accepting, non-judgmental way. Then gently bring your attention back to your breath.
When you’re ready, take a few deep breaths and open your eyes.
Now that you have a taste of gently regulating your attention, you can take a fuller look and pay attention to the details.
Benfits of Mindful Thinking
Benefits of Mindfulness
By learning to be in mindful mode more often, it is possible to develop a new habit that helps to weaken old, unhelpful and automatic thinking habits. For people with emotional problems, these old habits can involve being overly pre-occupied with thinking about the future, the past, themselves, or their emotions in a negative way.
Mindfulness training in this case does not aim to immediately control, remove, or fix this unpleasant experience. Rather, it aims to develop a skill to place you in a better position to break free of or not ‘buy into’ these unhelpful habits that are causing distress and preventing positive action.
Mindfulness interventions have been demonstrated to be beneficial for a number of psychological and physical conditions such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, addictions and personality disorder. (Baer 2003).