Lifestyle

A Quick Insight On Mindfulness: Practices, Benefits, Opinions

Authors Note:  My father has always been a practitioner of Eastern philosophies (Zen Buddhism, Hinduism). I once heard him telling my little sister, she was seven years old at the time, that “everyone will die someday” as he smiles and gave her a kiss on the forehead. That expression of acceptance, I will never forget.

 

You and I have the ability to think critically with our logic and reason. In consequence, we worry about our past and our future. Practicing mindfulness focuses our attention on what is happening in the present and alleviates the effects of our stressors. Awareness of the present and accepting these moments with no judgements of our emotional responses is known as Mindfulness.

For Whom

Mindfulness is for everyone from all walks of life, young or old. Mindfulness is not a religion and there is no necessary religious component to mindfulness – anyone, with any belief system, can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness.

Although Mindfulness may have had its origins in the east, the benefits of mindfulness and meditation are now relatively mainstream and the scientific community has found data positively correlating mindfulness and meditation to stress reduction

In the last 30 years, the most widely recognized Mindfulness practices, MBSR & MBCT have been developed and researched in the West. Recent neuroscience & clinical research has helped explain why mindfulness meditation practices work, which has accelerated its use within traditional medical circles as a powerful healing tool even further. [1]

Practicing mindfulness:

+ Be comfortable and think *The key is allowing your thoughts to flow undisturbed without associating them with the words ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

+ Absorb sensory details *The purpose is not to try to understand but acknowledge our sense of ‘sight’, ‘sound’, ‘smell’, ‘taste’, or ‘touch’.

+ Controlling impulses *Prioritizing by separating our needs and wants– ultimately seizing control of our urges.

Physical and mental benefits translating into improvement of a person’s well being.

+ Physical: Scientists have discovered the benefits of mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways [2]

  • stress relief
  • treat heart disease
  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce chronic pain
  • improve sleep
  • alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties

+ Mental: In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems [2]

  • depression
  • substance abuse
  • eating disorders
  • couples’ conflicts
  • anxiety disorders
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

Well Being: Physical and mental benefits result in a better life experience

+ Awareness of current activities *Improvement of attention improves performance.

+ Positive attitude in dealing with adversities *Stronger resilience from misfortune and failures.

+ Reduced negative response to concern, fear and anxiety *Promotion of a healthier mind followed by better decisions.

+ Greater chance savoring the joys of life *Minimizing suffering, maximizing happiness.


 

Since we are talking about awareness, we need to ask the question: What if I do not receive the peace that mindfulness promises?

Improvement and moderation  is the overlying lesson that I received from researching mindfulness.

Improvement:

Relying on people, certain programs, medicines or anything that promises a ‘better’ life is self-defeating. I’ve enumerated the benefits of mindfulness but it is important that you are aware of other alternatives for finding peace. Educate yourself and continually search for different lifestyles that may suit you best. Improve your health and improve your life.

Moderation:

The past is still important for we learn from it. The future is still important for we will live it.

It is most important that we are not stuck visiting the past and predicting our future.

We must use what we learned to make good decisions now, so our later is better than earlier.


Whatever mindfulness has to offer you, the truth still remains the same that:

“Life is brutish, nasty, and short.”  The Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

We must do what we can to enjoy life with our friends and family, people whom we love–And with those who we do not know yet.

 

Sources:
[1] Mindfulnet. What is Mindfulness? http://mindfulnet.org/page2.htm
[2] HELPGUIDE. Benefits of Mindfulness. http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/mindfulness.htm

Photo Source: tinybuddha.com

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