Mindfulness: The Practice That Supports Life!

Author: Maria Peppa –

Every time we feel we are present with our whole self ”right here, right now”, we gain greater awareness, increased focus of attention and, above all, calm. However, most of us are absorbed by the events of our relentless daily reality and  the internal dialogues and playfulness of the mind that has become accustomed to going through the past and the future thus, we feel present ” right here and right now” little or not at all.

However, when we are in this state of being present at ” here and now”, we listen to ourselves and the others better, we interpret the messages we receive better and finally we communicate clearer and better. This means that our interactions rely more on actual facts and situations rather than perceptions of what in most cases proves to be wrong.

I have come to believe that the practice of mindfulness is a simple yet magical solution to overcome every difficulty. Generally, we could say that it is an invaluable tool of life.

What is consciousness or mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about raising awareness of what is happening in our mind, body and environment at the present time in a way that cultivates our conscious attention and acceptance of every moment without any critical thought. We just notice things going on, come and leave on their own.

Mindfulness helps us discover and confront our limitations, explore new paths, and why not, adopt alternative solutions to our problems. It makes it easier for us to keep distances or, if you want, to take a break from the incessant internal and external noises of everyday life and, that is what we all need so much.

We are subjected daily to a bombarding of millions of stimuli, and following our nature, we create mental models to manage those stimuli and cope with them. Generalizations, assumptions and beliefs about the world as well as ourselves. Instead of seeing each experience with a fresh eye, we react to life according to our unconscious beliefs, worn over from our early years, and the repetitive, common patterns of our thinking. These are the unconscious patterns that keep us steady and, influence our ability to be authentic and to offer unintentionally, effortlessly, from our personal stock, the unlimited wealth that exists within us.

The results of scientific research on mindfulness are indisputable. Over 40 years of clinical research and study have demonstrated the important benefits of consciousness in increased spirituality, reduction of anxiety and stress, neurological processes, general health, productivity at work, etc.

The recent survey conducted by The Institute for Mindful Leadership, a training product of “consciousness” in 123 leading and senior executives of General Mills, gave the following results:

  •  48% increase in focus
  •  40% increase in individual productivity
  •  34% increase in the possibility of setting priorities
  •  31% increase in employee satisfaction
  •  34% increase in the capacity to perform tasks under pressure

Based on brain images, neuroscientists have come to the conclusion that people who practice consciousness increase both the activity and the size of the prefrontal cortex, which is an important control center in their brain region, thus experiencing benefits related:

  •  Increased Awareness
  •  Easier Concentration and focus of attention
  •  Faster Decision Making
  •  Objective Crisis
  •  Empathy
  •  Better social behavior

Researchers have also found that the practice of mindfulness causes shrinkage of the amygdala. Amygdala is the center of the brain associated with the reaction of “fight or flight” when we deal  with difficult situations and regulate:

  •  The fear
  •  Our reactions
  •  Resistance to stress

With regard to health care, research reveals that the practice of consciousness:

  •  Increases immunoglobulin-A (anti-infection antibody)
  •  Reduces signs of bodily inflammation
  •  Reduces levels of cortisol (stress hormone)
  •  Reduces blood pressure
  •  Reduces stress

In summary, research tells us that the practice of mindfulness is a simple yet our most powerful tool for enhancing our health, cognitive function and performance.

The 5-minute and very easy practical meditational exercise that follows will be the starting point that will help you to integrate consciousness into your everyday reality and make it part of your living experience for more peace and serenity in your life.

Five-minute meditation exercise for calmness and tranquility …

Start your exercise in any place or attitude that best suits you, regardless of whether you are lying on your bed, on the couch of your living room or sitting in the armchair of your office.

Step 1: Inhale calmly for a few minutes, at your own pace, without any extra effort. Simply allow your breathing to penetrate deeply and feel it fill your stomach.

Step 2: Close your eyes and, through the screen of your mind, imagine your calmness having a color. What color would it be? You can imagine it with your beloved.

Step 3: Now, do the same with your stress. Imagine your stress having a color. What color would it be?

Step 4: Now just inhale the color you imagined to represent your calmness and exhale the color associated with your anxiety.

Step 5: Repeat the above steps taking deep, slow inhalations and exhale without hurry for 5 minutes.

Step 6: You can do this exercise for fewer minutes or even more. You have the control. Tune in with the wisdom of your body and follow its mesaages.

Step 7: When you feel the process is complete, just open your eyes and continue with your other tasks.

Share this 5-minute meditation exercise on social media so your friends can also benefit.

You can also explore my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Hypnotherapy4ugr/videos if you want to broaden your meditative choices…

Maria Peppa

Stress Management Coach – Hypnotherapist

http://www.hypnotherapy4u.gr

Translation: Sotia Bella

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