Mindfulness is about being in the present, in the here and now, experiencing the moment as it is without judgement and being better able to respond to circumstances rather than react.
Being mindful isn't only about experiencing pleasant thoughts it is about being present in all of life's situations that we encounter, being more aware of what we feel, how we feel and being better able to make calm, non-judgemental responses with loving kindness towards ourselves and others.
Through practicing mindfulness exercises on a regular basis we are able to challenge habit based thinking and develop alternative ways of thinking and responding. This results in benefits in our mental, physical and emotional well-being.
There is evidence now which not only points to the benefits in health but also demonstrates positive changes in the structure of the brain. There are findings in neuroscience which demonstrate positive changes in the brain as a result of mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness Based Health Interventions can be helpful for a variety of health problems including:-
- stress reduction
- relapse prevention for depression
- regulating Blood Pressure
- aiding sleep
- management of pain
This list is not exhaustive, it also benefits many other aspects of our being including:-
- improving concentration
- greater clarity of thought
- improved communications with others
- being less "reactive" and more "responsive"
- ability to recognise one's own thoughts and distinguish whether they are subjective or objective
- a greater general sense of well-being
Mindfulness and science
Sara Lazar discusses the science of Mindfulness
What happens in the brain when we practice mindfulness?
Principles of Mindfulness
You will learn more about these principles of mindfulness:
- Non judging
- Beginner’s Mind
- Letting Go
These all come under the umbrella of :
Loving Kindness and Compassion
Self-Observation Without Judgment
Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it's just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.
Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.
Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.
I can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.
What's needed here isn't more prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy - seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.
Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquillity and change.