Mindfulness - Understanding the concept and how to get started

MYnd Map Blog Mindfulness - Understanding the concept of and how to get started

Throughout our lives, we try to achieve as many milestones as possible. From the day we enter the real world, we become a part of this never-ending marathon. A journey that is full of challenges, ups and downs, laughter, tears, and whatnot. But today, let’s do something different, let’s take a break from the run and give our minds and souls to something much bigger than your everyday quest, let’s talk about “Mindfulness”. 

Mindfulness is a concept that has been around for as long as you can think. Mindfulness is a state where a person is fully aware of their present moment and isn’t overwhelmed with what's happening around that is out of your control, regrets of the past or worries about tomorrow. It isn’t something that you can take from someone, mindfulness is already within us, all we have to do is reach out to it.

Once you cultivate being mindfulness, you will not just be able to enhance your mental and physical health but will have your overall well-being in check. A study published a few years back in the Journal of Neuroscience stated that a person who practices mindfulness for four days reduce the pain sensation to nearly half as compared to an individual who is not. The benefit that mindfulness provides has been scientifically demonstrated making it a much needed tool for everyone today.

Don’t perceive mindfulness in the wrong way, it doesn’t bring success right to your front door, but teaches you self-care and helps you make the road to success worthwhile. As humans, we are the victims of our own emotions. Angry, sad, afraid, frustrated, how we feel triggers some kind of reaction but with mindfulness, we learn to not act blindly on it and come up with better and constructive ways to deal with challenges.

Top 3 Benefits Of Mindfulness

  1. It Rebuilds Your Brain

By now you might know mindfulness as the answer to anxiety, fear, and other emotional vulnerabilities. What if I told you that there’s more to it? A recent study conducted at Harvard Medical School proved that a person’s brain before and after practicing Mindfulness for half an hour every day for 8 weeks goes through some physical changes as well.

It showed that the amount of grey matter in the hippocampus increases, the part of the brain responsible for learning and storing memory. On top of that, the amount of grey matter in the amygdala region ( linked to anxiety and stress) reduces. This takes the entire concept of mindfulness to a whole new level.

  1. Improves Your Creativity and Thinking Ability

Keeping what we learned about mindfulness in mind, it is safe to say that your life can improve in different ways and aspects. Gaining a sense of mental calmness allows you to extend the boundaries of your thoughts and think beyond your capabilities.

Achieving your personal goals doesn’t seem as far fetched as it used to. It eliminates all negative notions and stress that prevents you from focusing and thinking out of the box. The more you are attentive towards yourself, the better ideas you can come up.

  1. It Influences Your Decision Making

In a study conducted in 2012 and published in the Journal Frontier in Human Neuroscience, UCLA showed that people who meditate have a more significant amount of gyrification than a non-meditator. The role of gyrification is to increase the surface area of the brain and enhance neural processing.

Mindfulness makes the brain accept and process information better, and this further leads to better analysis of the message received and results in better decision making that prove beneficial in the longer run.

How To Practice Mindfulness?

You can practice mindfulness in various forms. It is best to find a practice that suits you best. One of the most popular forms of practicing mindfulness is  through meditation. Slowing down your mind and body and connecting with the present moment. Here are a few tips that will help you in the process.

  • For starters, find a place to sit or lay where you are comfortable. Make sure your legs and upper body are up right if you are sitting. Keep your back straight but relaxed so that you don’t feel restless too soon.
  • Once comfortable, lightly close your eye, or you can choose to keep them open, just softly focus on something that is in front of you. 
  • Now, feel the air getting in and out of your body and only pay attention to your breathing. It helps if you think to yourself when you breath in 'In' and when you breath out 'Out'. Even counting your breath in and out ca help you stay focused. You can start with 4 counts in and 6 counts out and move up. Remember if you lose count or your mind wanders, it ok, just gently bring your focus back to your breathe. 
  • Spend a few minutes doing this, and slowly work your way up to 5, 10, 15 minutes of breath meditation. You can do this by taking some time out in the morning, or at the end of the day or when you have something important coming up, like a meeting, and interview, or before making a big decision. Soon you will start experiencing the benefits of practicing mindfulness. 

Like said there are more than one ways to practice mindfulness. These points are merely just one way of doing it. The purpose of all of these methods, however, remains the same, to link your mind and body as one so that you don’t react to life or when faced with challenges but rather are able to take a moment to see the bigger picture and take the situation as it is and from there gracefully and productivity decide and choose what you are going to do and what your next step will be. So let's get started, commit to it and feel the growth in yourself.

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