When we reside in a more mindful state, we are able to stay present, focused on each moment—being mindful means to be aware and fully present in each moment that arises. We often get stuck in thought about a past event, or we rush off into the future planning something in our minds or wishing that life was different. We make up stories in our minds about events that haven’t happened, or we mindlessly go through our daily tasks or scrolling through Facebook, all of which can set off the stress response in your body quite a few times a day.
A regular mindfulness practise teaches you to stay present and aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions which can help to dial down that stress response and create a healthier inner life.
You can think of it as training for the mind.
Mindfulness increases your mental fitness.
It is a tool that you can access anytime, anywhere, whether you’re feeling the pressure, feeling scattered, tired, or you need a quick recharge. When we are more aware of our thoughts, we begin to recognise patterns of thinking that are not useful; this is where we start changing the mind, literally.
A study at Harvard showed that while the subjects were practising mindfulness breath meditation during an MRI, they could see the parts of the brain where focus, memory and concentration occurred light up and the area where the stress response occurs dampen down. They have also discovered over time that the shrinkage that occurs with age in the brain slows down in regular meditators — therefore helping to slow down the ageing process of the brain improving your focus, concentration and memory.
Both of these studies show that meditation has an immediate positive effect on the brain.
I strongly believe in harnessing the power of mindfulness as a way to reset, rejuvenate and focus. My workshops and classes are designed to do just that.
Why practise mindfulness?
Through regular meditation practise, we can shed light on confronting or confusing situations, and problem solve calmly and mindfully. In other words, we are increasing our ability to act in a way that is good for all involved rather than re-act.
It has also been found that mindfulness can:
- Improve your sleep quality
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve decision making
- Dampen down the stress response hormones
- Boost your immune system
- Mitigate anxiety and depression and age-related cognitive decline
- Lift your energy levels
- Provide clarity
- Promote a sense of peace
In just a few short minutes a day, you can change your life with mindfulness.