Mindfulness is the ability of humans to be fully present, aware of where he is and what he is doing, and not overly overwhelmed or reactive by what is going on around him. Mindfulness is something that every individual possesses but it is more readily available when practiced on a daily basis.
You are mindful every time you bring awareness to what you directly experience through your senses, or to your state of mind by way of your emotions and thoughts. A lot of researches have shown that when you train your brain to be mindful, you are in effect remodeling the physical structure of your brain.
Mindfulness involves acceptance, which means that people should pay attention to their feelings and thoughts without passing judgment on them, and without believing. People should eliminate the “right” or “wrong” way of thinking or feeling in a given moment of time. Practicing mindfulness allows a person to put his thoughts into the present instead of reviewing past events or attempt to look into the future.
Mindfulness originated from Buddhist meditation, which is a secular practice of mindfulness that has been part of the American mainstream for years. Since the time mindfulness became popular in society, plenty of studies documented the mental and physical benefits of mindfulness.
There are various benefits of mindfulness that could inspire people to practice it.
Mindfulness alleviates stress
Stress has become a normal part of daily living. Whether at work, at the family, or in social circles, people cannot avoid getting stressed. A person gets stressed by working hard and still failing to attain his goals, at times through no fault of his own. Many studies have pointed to the relationship between stress and many forms of illnesses. Chronic stress could lead to more serious health problems.
People can avoid stress-related health problems by taking steps to de-stress. There are plenty of ways to relieve the stress at the end of a tension-filled day. Other than hobbies and other relaxing activities, mindfulness can greatly reduce stress and help people get through the challenges and difficulties of the situation. Mindfulness is a preventative measure to avoid stress-related illnesses, both physical and mental.
Mindfulness reduces overthinking
Overthinking is a common symptom of anxiety. While anxiety is considered normal and healthy emotion, a disproportionate level of it might lead to a serious health disorder. Anxiety often leads to various conditions that will impact the mental and physical health of a person.
Overthinking when a person worries too much about something results in the brain holding tightly to it, making it difficult to let go. When the person keeps on replaying in his mind all the possible bad results of the situation he is in, it could lead to a more serious mental problem.
Mindfulness, especially when practiced regularly, will help a person worrying about something, focus his attention to something nice and less worrisome. A person who practices mindfulness has a stronger personality and grip of himself to handle various problems.
Mindfulness improves memory, concentration, and performance
A common problem among people is their inability to focus or concentrate on the task at hand. Usually, a person’s mind wanders to different directions when he is supposed to focus on an assigned task. This results in the failure to achieve the goal or it might take him longer to finish the assigned task.
Mindfulness prevents a person from losing his concentration on the task at hand. A person who regularly practices mindfulness learns how to focus and concentrate on the task that he is supposed to do. Studies have shown that a person who regularly practices mindfulness has a thicker cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, learning, and concentration.
Mindfulness helps with emotional reactivity
It is common for people to immediately react to the situation, especially when it involves his emotions. A person usually reacts in an aggressive, if not violent, way whenever he feels that he is being provoked by someone. This is a common behavior among individuals who are not trained to roll with the punches life throws at them.
A person who practices mindfulness learns to have his emotions under control regardless of what life throws at him. When confronted with a problem, particularly an emotional one, instead of reacting with a stronger outburst, the person who has been practicing mindfulness will calmly assess the situation and decide on the best action to take, devoid of emotions.
A person who practices mindfulness is one who is not easily provoked into an aggressive or violent action because he has been trained to be non-reactive to whatever comes his way.
Mindfulness promotes cognitive flexibility
A person usually evaluates a situation by letting his emotions get the better of him. When a person’s emotion is involved, he will not be able to make a fair assessment of the situation or problem. His reaction will always be tainted by his emotions. When emotions are involved, a person usually reacts fast, at times without bothering to think about what he is doing.
People practicing mindfulness are less reactive. They are able to fairly assess the situation before deciding on what action to take, without involving their emotions. A person who gets angry at a situation cannot be expected to make the best decision.
Mindfulness allows the practitioner to activate the brain part that is associated with how he will respond to stressful situations.
Mindfulness reduces anxiety
It is easy for the human brain to stay focused on a negative situation and make forecasts on how far it will worsen. Many individuals punish themselves by staying focused on the bad events that might happen. The result is they already suffer even before the expected bad events occur. This process leads to a buildup of stress that could lead to more serious mental and physical problems.
Mindfulness teaches people to relax and worry less about what the future holds. Mindfulness helps the brain focus on the important things in life instead of worrying about what could have happened.
When faced with a problem, mindfulness teaches a person to calmly and rationally look for solutions instead of wallowing in self-pity or imagining the worst that could come.
Mindfulness creates happier relationships
A happy relationship among people is fostered through empathy, kindness, and compassion. Unfortunately, not everybody is capable of these emotions. People usually don’t care about the situation of other individuals or how they feel. It is the result of self-centeredness, where people know only what they need and what they feel, with total disregard of how others feel and what they need.
People who practice mindfulness are more capable of having empathy and compassion toward others. Instead of right away condemning a person for what he did, a mindfulness practitioner will try to understand where that person is coming from. Such an attempt to understand why someone behaved that way is a clear example of a person empathizing and showing compassion to his fellowmen.
Mindfulness improves sleep quality
A person’s response to a stimulus is either to get stressed or feel relaxed. Most people get stressed by the action of others. It is the reason why stress has become a common problem in society. Unfortunately, a person who is always stressed because of the actions of the people around him usually ends up suffering a variety of health issues, both mental and physical.
Mindfulness meditation helps a person respond calmly to a situation. Instead of being stressed by something, he will find a reason to keep his calm and be relaxed. In so doing, he is avoiding a slew of health issues that may come his way if he will get stressed.
Mindfulness promotes mental health
Mindfulness meditation helps relax the brain and the entire body, eliminating stress and other negative feelings. A person who is both relax and calm is able to regulate his behavior better, resulting in better mental health.
Mindfulness enhances creativity
The mind cannot be creative when it is always wandering. Creativity requires focus and control. In order to be creative, a person must be able to control his mind and focus on the task at hand or to the goal that he wants to achieve.
Mindfulness teaches the mind to focus, preventing it from wandering to other ideas that keep him off target. When the mind learns to focus, creativity comes naturally.
Mindfulness allows a person to reap plenty of benefits that he will likely not get when his mind keeps on wandering and stays undisciplined.
Your daily meditation practice will benefit greatly from a tool that will help you focus. Check out our growing mala collection at www.lovetinydevotions.com