Young children are naturally Mindful. If you've ever seen a young child making a sandcastle, they are totally engrossed and focussed in the moment. Someone knocks their sandcastle over, they wail and cry and then, hey presto... they are onto the next thing. They are authentic and life is a natural flow.
Of course as we grow older we still have Mindful experiences, for example when we are absorbed in an activity we enjoy, maybe a walk in the forest, a sport we enjoy, listening to music we love. We are engaged and in the moment, we have a sense of ourselves. However sometimes it seems rather than 'flow' - our life becomes punctuated by mindful experiences here and there, perhaps at the weekend or on holidays. We get so busy, our 'joie de vivre' goes on the backburner and much of our time we may feel like we are on a hamster wheel. Yet, we know there is so much more available for us! Simply put, Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening in your body and in your mind, just as it is happening, without being swept away by it or spinning off into excessive emotions so if someone knocks our sandcastle we can learn from it and move on the next thing.
Rather than the tendency to live on automatic pilot, where it feels like your body is in one place (the car) and your mind racing in another (next week) Mindfulness offers a way to be fully present in the moment. Instead of allowing our thoughts run away with us and our emotions to take over, Mindfulness offers us a gentle and practical way to rebalance, to accept and be more at ease with whatever is going on. Then, we in a position to take the next step with more focus and makes balanced decision for our wellness.
Over time it becomes infinitely easier to reduce stress, to self-calm and to make wise life choices. It just takes a little practice everyday. Link: Centre for Mindfulness.
The Science of Mindfulness Imagine, with a little daily discipline, we can positively change the structure of our brain. Science has shown that after eight weeks of Mindful Meditation, areas of the brain associated with stress, fight and flight, reduces and in areas of the brain associated with calm, ease, focus, well-being, and decision making grey matter is increased.
It's pretty amazing that we have it within us to change the structure of our own brain. That with Mindfulness we can empower ourselves to better mental and physical health, that we can breathe and live a little more lightly.