“A mindful life begins with mindful days.”
Sarah Ruddell Beach, Left Brain Buddha
We’re hearing about mindfulness everywhere these days.
That’s because there are amazing benefits to mindfulness and meditation!
Much of the research on mindfulness and meditation reveals the amazing neuroplasticity of our brains — while we used to think that our brains stopped developing in our early twenties, we now know that our experiences can shape our neural development well into our sixties and beyond. The more we exercise a particular neural pathway in the brain, the more we strengthen it. As neuroscientists like to say, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
Recent studies indicate that as little as 12 minutes of meditation a day, over an 8-week period, is enough to create healthy changes in the brain!
What is Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness – described by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has been researching the benefits of mindfulness practices since the 1970’s at the UMass Medical Center – is “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment”. Rather than shutting the world out by denial or dismissal, we directly participate in each moment as it unfolds with awareness, openness and compassion.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of cultivating skills for becoming wakeful and calm in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. We reconnect with our true selves, becoming more resilient, resourceful and receptive to the richness and fullness of our lives. By implementing simple mindfulness exercises for only 5 to 20 minutes a day, you may experience:
- Increased self-awareness, self-trust and self-acceptance
- Awakened inner capacities for insight, compassion, forgiveness and love
- Serenity in the face of difficulty, more fluid adaption to change
- Ability to experience increased joy, happiness and well-being
- Lasting decreases in stress-related symptoms including anxiety, chronic pain, headaches and insomnia
Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
To learn more about mindfulness and mindfulness meditation, please browse my blog archives, I have written many blog posts on the subject. As well, to get a sense of mindfulness meditation, in invite you to try some of the guided meditations available free on my other website, mindfulmeditation.com