Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are you’ve been introduced to the concept of mindfulness. It seems that the idea is everywhere and the business world is abuzz with its restorative properties.
Millions of people are recognizing the life-changing improvements and experiencing first-hand how mindfulness rewires the brain to foster well-being. They are living with greater consciousness, are more anchored in the present moment, and appreciating day-to-day life more fully.
Companies like Google, Apple, and Target are incorporating meditation into daily work schedules in an attempt to improve productivity and overall employee health. Savvy CEO’s have acknowledged that with mindfulness the brain opens to new ideas, stays tuned in and aware, and improves mental capacity and accuracy.
Mega-famous celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Kobe Bryant, and Arianna Huffington are benefiting from the positive effects of this ancient modality. Because they realize it helps them live their best life, they are making time and building a mindfulness practice into their already ultra-busy day.
The holistic alternative of a mindfulness practice is not just for the rich and famous. A nationwide survey reveals that more and more, everyday people like you and me (nearly double the number of adults from 2002) are using this mind-body approach to boost their mental and physical health.
Mindfulness means being and living in the present moment; taking time to become aware of your surrounding environment. Your bodily sensations are in tune with what’s happening around you on purpose. You should have a deep and connected physical appreciation of where you are and what you are doing.
Additionally, mindfulness involves acceptance; give yourself the choice of what it is that you’re bringing to mind. This means that you must consciously pay attention to what you’re thinking and feeling at any given time instead of allowing your mind to rehash the past or imagine the future.
Benefits of a mindfulness practice to the brain.
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is the creator of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program that incorporates mindfulness to assist people with pain, illness, anxiety and stress.
Researchers speculate that those who practice meditation develop the ability to exert greater control over unpleasant feelings, including pain, by turning them down as if using a “volume knob” in the brain.
The biggest shift of the century has been the world wide web. The internet’s steady stream of information and interruption can cause endless disruptions and distractions, easily leaving you feeling overwhelmed and frenzied.
Having a greater sense of well-being contributes to a more satisfied life. Research confirms what many religious and philosophical traditions have claimed for years, we experience our greatest joy when we are present and attentive. Practicing mindfulness will make it easier for you to be fully engaged and enjoy life’s pleasures.
No matter what the outside cause, stress is quite often fed and sustained by your thoughts. It’s easy to let your mind wander down a negative path, worrying about situations and problems that haven’t even occurred. Turn this negative into a positive by recognizing and acknowledging this destructive pattern.
Because the conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time, your greatest weapon when dealing with stress will be your power to choose one thought over another. Train your brain to notice your habits—whether they are good or bad—so you have the freedom to choose your path.
The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past.
A great side effect of a regular mindfulness practice is its ability to fortify and deepen your creative expression. It encourages you to open your mind to look at things from a different perspective. It also has a calming effect with regard to your brains endless mental chatter, a.k.a. ‘monkey mind.’ As you begin to relax you become more receptive to your creative style and self-expression.
This heightened state of awareness allows your mind the tools to do what it does best—imagine, explore, and innovate. Through mindfulness you will always be a work in progress; expanding your consciousness, broadening your perspective and boosting your creative energy.
Just a few minutes of this ancient practice every day can take you from 110mph to Zen.
If you can increase the level of intimacy with you have with yourself, you can build stronger relationships with others. The inner reflection that is experienced from mindfulness is conducive to complete well-being and will create fuller, more sustainable connections in your life.
With the world being the frantic place it is, you can’t always control what comes your way. Focusing on the positive things in life, you can learn to transform your thoughts and how you interact with others. Oftentimes, it’s the smallest gesture or kind word that will brighten your day and bring you closer to friends and strangers alike.
Research confirms what many religious and philosophical traditions have claimed for years, we experience our greatest joy when we are present and attentive. Practicing mindfulness will introduce you to ways to become fully engaged and develop high performance habits in your personal and professional life.
If you are among the growing number of people who could use help developing fortitude and inner strength, so that inevitable pressures of daily life have less influence on your overall well-being, start practicing mindfulness.
Realize that you have the power to change your life in this very moment. Find peace in your mind and everything else will fall into place.
I am a corporate wellness consultant. As a master yoga instructor, I support in-house wellness programs, seminars, trade shows and executive retreats. I help business leaders build and maintain physical and mental well-being. If you would like to learn more about offering a health and fitness program to your busy management team contact me at [email protected] or 386.871.0582
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