By Jo Pessin
Mindfulness is the practice of slowing down and paying attention to the present moment with purpose and without judgement. Here are 5 things about being mindful that I wanted to share with you:
- Regular mindfulness practice can lead to better memory. MRI research shows that the gray matter in the hippocampus – part of the brain is associated with learning and memory – increases with regular mindfulness practice.
- Practicing mindfulness will get easier with practice. Our minds are thought making machines. No matter how long you have been meditating, you will still be confronted with thoughts. The ART of being with these thoughts is the process of Acknowledging, Releasing the thought and Taking a breath, or Turning back inwards to your body (if you are doing mindfulness meditation). Over time, the more you practice, the easier and more comfortable it will be.
- Mindfulness and Relaxation techniques are different. Yes, being relaxed is definitely a possible benefit of being mindful, but when we are being mindful we are paying attention with purpose to whatever is happening in the moment. That moment can be filled with many feelings such as excitement, frustration or relaxation. Being curious and open to whatever the moment brings allows the freedom to flow through the moment with acceptance.
- Mindfulness helps clear the mind and welcome new ideas which boosts creativity. By practicing slowing down to be mindful of the here and now, you can also begin to slow down your thoughts. Having acceptance allows you to explore and welcome new ideas without judgement which supports being open to newness with fresh and gentle eyes.
- You can be mindful doing whatever you are doing right now. Since being mindful is about being curious about what is happening right now, you can be anywhere and practice mindfulness. Yes, you can be in a quiet room meditating, but you can also be in the middle of a crazy loud concert soaking in the sounds, feelings and sensations.
Mindfulness can better your life in many ways. Slow down – for any amount of time and wherever you are. You’ll find yourself being open, curious, accepting and non-judgmental. With a kind heart, you will start benefiting from all that mindfulness has to offer you.
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