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Let's talk about mindfulness...


Mindfulness… you have probably heard a lot about this in the recent years, but what is

mindfulness, and how can I incorporate the practice into my life? First off, I don’t have all the

answers, but I may be able to shed light on some.

In my journey, I started hearing about mindfulness over the last ten years or so, I heard about

people using it in various treatment modalities and throughout different healing

communities. I’ve heard several religions speak on mindfulness and have even

seen organizations educate their employees on how to practice mindfulness in the workplace,

and it seems to have become a popular topic among anyone wanting to better their lives.

If you look up mindfulness, you will see that it has been used by Buddhists, but was most

recently brought to light in Western societies around 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. As a medical

professor, he originally used the practice to work with individuals who suffered from chronic

illnesses. His work was eventually developed into the Mindfulness Stress Based Reduction

(MBSR) which is now used all over the world for stress reduction, relaxation and for

overall wellness.

As a Reiki practitioner, I have personally used mindfulness to help bring me back to balance and

remind myself to stay in the present moment. Mindfulness has helped in my healing and has

allowed me to hold space for others better so I may be mindful of everyone’s intention on their

healing journey.

Mindfulness is a simple meditation for almost anyone to try, and it can be split into a few easy

parts. First, find a comfortable spot to sit with your eyes closed, and take a few deep breaths to

relax your body and mind. Then simply allow your thoughts to gently move through your

mind. At this time, use gentle awareness to recognize your thoughts, but try to avoid judgments

surrounding those thoughts. Once you become aware of your thoughts, bring the attention back

to your breath and move through the practice again. Mindfulness has no set time limit, but by

starting with just one minute, you can eventually move to two minutes, three minutes, five

minutes and so on.

Mindfulness has been proven to have many benefits and can help align people back to the here

and now, and in our present-day society, we have been wired to think that stress is

something normal, and that it deserves to hold space in belongs in our lives. By far, this is one of

the biggest fallacies people have been taught to believe. Stress is a term for suffering, and

suffering causes anxiety, worry, and imbalances in our lives, which can lead to negative

reactions in our body, mind, and spirit.

Stress is an abnormal response that can impact our bodies physically, and mentally. It can

cause tightness in our chests and pains in our neck. Mentally we can lose focus on our tasks or

only see the negative or wrong in our lives, but by tuning in to those thoughts through

mindfulness, we can move toward a more stress-free life.


Mindfulness meditation also helps by turning off the stress response and allows us to learn new

tools and find internal strength to focus on the now. It is also normal for our minds to wander to

those deep, dark places where we don’t want it to go, but by enabling us to focus on our daily

tasks we can respond better to the wandering thoughts, judgments, or assumptions we hold

against ourselves. Mindfulness can help provide more clarity to gain more resiliency for the daily

ups and downs we face.

Another healthy benefit of mindfulness meditation are the cognitive benefits. Studies have

shown that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation can produce growth to the hippocampus,

which is the part of the brain that regulates creativity, emotional intelligence, and happiness. It

also allows for shrinkage to the amygdala, which is responsible for stress and addictive

behaviors.

Mindfulness has provided a positive impact on my daily life and this experience can be started

whenever you have a few moments of silence. I would recommend that anyone interested, take

a few minutes to try mindfulness meditation.

It is a simple tool for a better life, and it has helped align me with my purpose and how to stay

on track with daily goals. I have never felt worse after a session, only better. If you are

interested in mindfulness, please reach out to groups in your local area, search online videos, or

join a Meet-Up where you can find other like-minded individuals.

Remember that life is experienced through connections, and in the weaving of those

connections we learn different ways to see our world, our lives, and the impacts we have on the

lives of others. If we can use mindfulness meditation to make the world better for ourselves,

then I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make tomorrow a little bit better

than today.







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