As I pondered about the word mindfulness, many things came into my mind.
Then I thought, everything is born in the mind. A little love, hate, bright ideas, acts, and many other abstract things. I remember times I sat down to meditate during yoga teacher training, how at first I dreaded concentrating. It seemed so difficult, yet the results were fascinating.
Mindfulness opens the door to the true you, giving you the opportunity to discover yourself and weed out things you don’t want in your body as well as your inner man. I will share with you what I discovered about mindfulness. Let’s start with the brain.
5 Fascinating Facts about Mindfulness:
Better Learning and Memory Abilities.
Some people forget they have a brain. I say this because, in the midst of a cluttered life, a good number of people forget they can slow down, think, and remember things.
Scientific explanations have proven that meditative practices can increase the thickness of the cortex of the brain, providing an increase in cognitive functioning and sensory processing. (Lazar et al., 2005) With longer meditation periods, the grey matter in the brain stem becomes denser, which is responsible for cardiorespiratory control, and improving the cardiovascular health of individuals. (Vestergaard-Poulsen, van Beek, Skewes, Bjarkam, Stubberup, Bertelsen, & Reopstorff, 2009)
I will say, your mind begins to create space for rapid sensory processing as you become aware of all that surrounds you. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you can process information at a faster rate just by practicing mindfulness daily? Well, I think it’s great.
A Stress Buster.
Each day, we go through some form of stress, either positive or negative. This keeps us going. However, when the body system is overburdened with negative vibes, it reacts, giving off a signal and setting off the sympathetic nervous system which produces cortisol causing the individual to engage in the stressful flight or fight condition most of us have heard of. However, with the practice of mindfulness, the layers of this dreaded scenario are peeled away bit by bit, opening the practitioner to a space of peace deep within, through concentrating on happy positive thoughts by means of imagery, hope, words, and other tools that result in relieving the mind of stress. A layer of resilience is also built to guard against any harmful patterns of stress. This may sound mystical, but the mind is something we cannot fully comprehend.
Protects the Body from Diseases.
When I think of how this occurs, it amazes me. Knowing your mind can protect you from diseases is simply astounding. This has been proven scientifically because the mind is linked to the immune system. If the mind is sick therefore the immune system doesn’t function properly and the body is susceptible to diseases. Mindfulness plays the role of relaxing every system in the body so that harmful toxins and hormones are not released into the bloodstream which may deter the immune system from functioning properly. Meditation techniques and mindful breathing are tools to slowly put the entire system at rest keeping the house (body) in a safe and orderly mode. Each cell in the body, each with its own mind, assumes its role in keeping the body safe.
We cannot simply talk about mindfulness and leave out emotions. As humans, we are a bundle of emotions walking around either waiting to share or explode. Learning to accept this is one step to keeping yourself and others sane. Women and men have different and similar emotions, some we may not understand and others we accept. Stabilising emotions and preventing negative emotions from poisoning our relationship with others can be confusing but with mindfulness, a balance is created. In each moment, being still gives the chemical system in our bodies the opportunity to regulate itself. That stillness allows you to clear the clutter, focus, become aware of each emotion, and lead you to distinguish and embrace happiness. That is the power of mindfulness at work.
A Picture of Health.
I can always attest to this. That inviting healthy look that makes you an object of admiration. You are always happy, shining brightly, eyes beaming, breaths even, smile stunning, and skin glowing. This is a product of mindfulness. With the practice of daily mindfulness, you generally have a positive outlook on life and others around you. Your mind is freed from the bondage of bitterness that makes you frown, cranky, and ill because your focus has shifted from the negative to the positive. You see things with a different view making life more satisfying to you as your mind is purified from harm within and without. Remember, health is a combination of a whole lot and it all starts with the mind.
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t require much, only your willingness, a quiet and comfortable space, and if required a guided meditation. At least 15 minutes a day will transform your life over time. Isn’t this fascinating?
Well, that’s the fascinating facts about mindfulness for you!