Mindfulness changes the brain and how the body produces hormones and other chemicals that impact health. A study done by Lutz, Dunne & Davidson in 2008 shows how mindfulness impacts the amygdala- the emotional part of the brain- and makes it less active during mindfulness sessions. The hippocampus- associated with memory- also helps regulate the amygdala and is more active during mindfulness sessions. This means while practicing mindfulness, there will be emotional detachment and improved focused attention to help you remain in the present.
The need for mindfulness in the world today cannot be overemphasized, as we are constantly caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Mindfulness should be introduced into everything we do, be it day-to-day activities or even in social justice movements, where staying focused is almost not guaranteed.
Also, beyond helping you stay in the present, mindfulness teaches you a lot more things, some of which include:
- Life Lessons
It seems impossible that something as basic as being present in the moment could teach you certain life lessons. However, mindfulness practice is not as basic as you think, as it changes your perspective about life. It teaches you how fickle life is and how to make the most of every moment. Playing poker games helps you to be mindful because you can absorb yourself in the game, use your brain, and just enjoy the moment.
- The Power of Self-awareness
Self-awareness helps you recognize and accept your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and is key in everything you do. Mindfulness helps you to be self-aware and as you constantly practice it, you will experience its power and how it reflects in every area of your life. It helps you recognize what you are doing well and what you need to improve on, due to how aware and present you are in your own life and activities.
- Taking Life One Step at a Time
No thanks to the hustling lifestyle we now promote, many people have gotten used to always rushing and never taking a moment to slow down. Mindfulness is the contrary, as it teaches you that it is possible to slow down and still get more done within the expected timeframe. A good night’s sleep, frequent naps and constantly taking time out to reflect have all been shown to improve productivity. Mindfulness teaches you that it is okay to take it one step at a time.
- Peace and Balance in the Present
As humans, we are quick to hang on to past glories, joy, failures, and pain and often find it difficult to let go. With mindfulness, your subconscious is brought back to the present to make you realize that you have peace and balance right here and right now. Learning how to balance thoughts and the present moment is freedom and you gradually learn to let go of past hurts.
While mindfulness comes with many benefits to the human mind, interpersonal behavior and life in general, it takes consistency to be able to soak in all that it has to offer.