When you learn to quieten your mind the benefits can be life changing.
In modern society everything happens at a fast pace, everything we want is at our finger-tips, everything is instant. There is no time to wait, people have lost the sense of delayed gratification (especially children)
How would you like to be able to quieten your mind, respond rather than react, let go of judgement, say goodbye to ego, learn to live in the now and be present? With mindfulness this is all available to you.
Mindfulness can easily become a daily practice. Those who practice feel calmer and grounded, have clear thinking and can easily respond to certain situations rather than reacting.
Practicing Mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety, there can also be less depressive symptoms, improved self-esteem and sleep quality.
Mindfulness is about being present, living in the now. Deliberately paying attention to what and who is around you, paying attention to what is also happening within you and also having an awareness in all moments of your day to day life. It is also about accepting whatever experiences you have.
Being mindful involves bringing an attitude of curiosity, acceptance and friendliness to whatever is experienced, rather than habitual patterns of judgment and criticism.
When we are not being attentive or really focused our brain actually switches to a default mode. This is characterised by mind wandering behaviour, mental chatter, dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, judgement and criticism of self and others. When in these patterns we are experiencing the world through thoughts and ideas rather than directly through our senses, unfortunately this can sometimes lead to mental health challenges such as stress, anxiety and depression etc.
In contrast, when we pay attention deliberately to who we are with and what we are doing we engage a different part of the brain, primarily the prefrontal cortex regions. This allow us to experience things through our senses, we avoid all the worrying, criticism, judging, dwelling on things we cannot change and we respond rather than react.
We have all experienced this at times while doing things we enjoy. Eg Being in nature, spending time with those we care about, doing the things that make our hearts sing and we really enjoy. It is in these moments that we are fully present and effortlessly engaged in our senses.
There are also 9 functions involving the prefrontal cortex that also may be impacted by mindfulness practice.
Body regulation: when our bodies are regulated our levels of energy and alertness are appropriate to the setting.
Insight: Self knowing awareness, sense of self. Key to growing positive social connection.
Attuned Communication with others: Resonance. When we can tune into ourselves it allows us to tune in to others.
Empathy: Allows us to see from another`s reality or perspective.
Emotional Balance or Regulation: When emotions are properly regulated our life has meaning. When emotions are overactive, we tend to become overwhelmed and emotionally imbalanced. When emotions are not active we may sense that life has no meaning.
Fear modulation: the ability to calm and soothe and sometimes unlearn our fears.
Response Flexibility: the ability to stop and think being doing or taking action, having the opportunity to consider all options and choose flexibility. Move beyond the old habitual responses
Intuition: Access awareness of the wisdom of the body. Intuitive intelligence can influence and inform our reasoning.
Morality: Looking at the bigger picture, taking into consideration what is best for others and not just ourselves.
As mindfulness practitioners and facilitators Carol and Luke have seen the benefits of this practice. Especially in children, we have seen firsthand how mindfulness can impact a child especially those who find it a challenge to concentrate.
Students can easily learn to apply mindfulness to all daily experiences. These include
- Mindful Listening
- Mindful Breathing
- Mindful Seeing
- Mindful Movement
- Mindfulness of thoughts
- Mindfulness of Emotions
- Mindful test taking.
- Heartfulness: Cultivation of positive states, kindness, generosity and gratitude.
Learn more about how we can help you by booking a free consultation with Luke or Carol here.