With the consciousness of the planet in full ascension mode, the concept and application of mindfulness are making their way back into society as a healthier way of living.
Although it may seem like a new age term to some, it’s really a basic human ability we all have and are all capable of expressing. It does take practice and conscious effort because there is a vast part of society that rushes us along, telling us it’s “wrong” to take our time and be. We all feel this underlying need to do, do, do. This is what has created so much anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues in our society. We have lost touch with our minds and the present moment.
For those of you who have heard the term “mindfulness” but don’t know exactly what it is, how to apply it, or how to recognize when you are already doing it, we’ll get you up to speed in no time.
The act of mindfulness is simply being present in the moment with curiosity and non-judgment for what you experience both externally and internally.
It is the ability to perceive life, in the now, without judging your thoughts or environment, ruminating over something that happened in the past, or worrying about something that may or may not happen in the future.
Mindfulness is practiced during meditation and yoga, but in its simplest form, it can be done while doing no more than observing. If you’ve ever been captivated by the beauty of nature to the point where time seems to stand still as you merely observe, you have practiced a form of mindfulness.
Here Are 4 Ways Mindfulness Promotes Anti-Aging:
The anti-aging effects of being mindful are due to the fact that slowing down and becoming present puts the body in a state where self-healing happens. What’s really going on behind the scenes is that you are tuning your brain wave frequencies to a level that supports health and well-being rather than stress and chaos. Yes, mindfulness helps you train and re-wire your brain for well-being.
Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
In truth, stress, anxiety, and depression are all results of being mindless and disconnected from the present moment. One sign of stress is a complaint that one’s thoughts move too fast to process. Since being mindful slows down brain waves, a person experiencing anxiety or depression can use mindfulness to consciously direct their thoughts and begin to “see” their life more clearly. What follows is always a relief and a sense of calm, and a body that feels calm more often ages much more slowly. Mindfulness is the first step to the beautiful journey of waking up out of the illusion and moving forward on your path toward well-being.
Increases Happiness and Optimism
Mindfulness teaches us to objectively observe whatever we focus our attention upon. Oftentimes from that space of neutrality, we can begin to feel a natural sense of gratitude for life, thereby giving the body a dose of feel-good hormones that bring about a happy, optimistic mood. Mindfulness is one way you can consciously choose to be happy. When practicing non-judgment during mindfulness, everything you gaze upon becomes something to be curious about or simply notice. Being in that non-reactive state changes the brain chemistry and allows the body to be calm, optimistic, and stress-free, or in “anti-aging mode.”
Reduces Age-related Brain Atrophy
Mindfulness keeps the mind active and gently engaged, which prevents the loss of brain volume and function. Because mindful ways of looking at life challenge one to see the world through non-judgmental, curious eyes, that very act keeps the mind fresh and dynamic since everything is always changing. This creates an environment for neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change and adapt in a dynamic fashion.
Because the brain is a muscle too, you can think of mindfulness as a brain exercise that improves cognitive flexibility thereby preventing and reducing brain degeneration and the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Mindfulness, especially through meditation, builds thicker cortical walls, slowing down the rate at which the brain ages and improving decision-making, concentration, focus, and memory.
Boosts the Immune System
The state of the mind directly affects the body while the immune system is strengthened by a healthy mind-body connection. When one is practicing mindfulness, he or she is generating good thoughts that allow the immune system to thrive. Being mindful also improves sleep, which is yet another way to boost immune defense. When the body is in a state of deep sleep it is able to essentially heal itself. Certainly, we know that lack of sleep causes stress, and therefore increases aging, so reversing the process through mindfulness promotes deeper sleep, better immune function, and anti-aging.
Here Are 3 Ways to Practice Being Mindful:
There are a few basic principles to follow when becoming more mindful. You can apply these techniques while you are eating to get even more benefits from the food and experience. You can also do these while you’re waiting in line or have morning or evening downtime. They are most beneficial when you begin to feel anxious, stressed, or depressed about something as they are healthier coping activities than grabbing something to eat to self-soothe or hopping on social media for some distractions.
- Observe your surroundings, with fresh eyes.
- Tune into your physical senses, one by one.
- Focus your attention on your body and breathe.
Stress increases the rate of aging, while mindfulness decreases it.
Do you practice mindfulness? Have you noticed any anti-aging effects because of it? Please share your experiences in the comments section below!
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*Originally published on February 4, 2019.
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