How Mindfulness Might Benefit You

How to Reconcile Awareness with Overload

For many years I, like many of you, have juggled a lot of balls.  Family, household, marital relationship, education, business, altruism – and I’ve loved it.  The more I did, the more accomplished I felt.  The more my children and later, grandchildren accomplished, the more we contributed and the more fulfilled I felt.

Then, I started getting migraines. The headaches didn’t just creep in but swooped and if you’ve ever had them before, you know, they can be disabling. Maybe for you, it’s something else, maybe neck pain or a tick. Stress and all the years of overload come back to haunt you and the things you thought made you who you were, start kicking you in the rear.

After trying to handle it on my own, I went to a neurologist, who at least has them under control.  He prescribed Vitamins and Minerals, medication and Neurotherapy. I’m very appreciative to have it under control after 10 years, but the medication comes with its own set of problems, so I’ve put into practice some of the things we encourage as lifestyle changes for our customers. That is; regular exercise and stress reduction, fewer electronics and more time outdoors.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough.  Each moment is all we need, not more.” Mother Teresa

Mindfulness is an awareness of our feelings, thoughts, and experiences, without judgment.  I don’t know about you, I can be pretty aware, but judgment is a struggle for me.  So I am a work in process in my “mindful practice.”  Telling myself “that’s okay” is pretty standard for me.

Mindfulness is not exclusive to Eastern religions.  Everyone can practice mindfulness and grow spiritually.  Organized religion, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism all practice it in prayer and philosophy; you don’t have to be a member of a specific religion to practice mindfulness.

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

The Benefits

Doctors are even prescribing mindfulness to alleviate symptoms causing physical repercussions.  Pain, anxiety, stress, and depression have been found to improve with the practice of mindfulness.

  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Reduction of stress
  • Boosts memory
  • increased focus
  • less emotional reaction
  • more cognitive flexibility (self-observation)
  • satisfaction in relationships
  • fear regulation
  • intuition
  • self-insight
  • morality

Mindfulness has been studied through empirical research and has been shown to enhance ALL function in the middle prefrontal lobe area of the brain.  Mindfulness has even been shown to have numerous medical benefits including immune function.

This is pretty new research and they’re still going back and forth over just how much is changed by mindfulness.  I’ve attached some additional reading from the US Department of Health and Human Services.  It shows research on different conditions that’s been conducted and the results.  If you have something like pain management, ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia, or Multiple Sclerosis, I highly recommend clicking on the link and taking a peek at the research.  It’s pretty easy to read and understand.

So…what are we waiting for?  Not too many pills that can offer a list like this.

 

Next Week:

How to let go of our need to multitask and embrace Mindfulness.

 

What is your experience with Mindfulness in the busyness of your world?  Please share in the comments below.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Candess M Campbell

    Beautiful blog. It is always exciting when useful practices such as meditation become mainstream. Mindfulness has been helping so many people who would not generally take on a meditation practice. Thanks for sharing this Cathy! Wouldn’t it be great if mindfulness were the first treatment for illness!

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Thank you Candess. That would be very nice if it were a first treatment.

      Reply
  2. Katarina Andersson

    Well, I think this is another way of saying to be true to yourself and to know when to say enough. And to treat others as you want to be treated yourself. :-) So yes, that, of course, helps us all to feel better, and not stress too much.

    Reply
  3. Tamuria

    I think it’s wonderful that research is focusing on mindfulness as a way to treat various conditions and relieve stress, Cathy. You are so right that not too many pills can offer the same benefits and without the negative side effects.

    Reply
  4. Meghan

    Funny timing on this post! I haven’t had a migraine in 18 years but got one just a few days ago. I’ve been wondering what set it off. Food? Hormones? Eyesight? Computer? Stress? The list could go on. I’m sorry to hear about your struggle with migraines. As for mindfulness, I am trying to incorporate it into my life more. Sometimes I’m good at that, sometimes I’m not! You’ve reminded me how important it is to get outside, enjoy nature, and experience some of the things that bring me joy. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Cathy

      I hope yours was an isolated instance, Meghan.

      Reply
  5. Beverley Golden

    It’s amazing how much research is now being done on both meditation and mindfulness, Cathy. And how the health benefits are being scientifically confirmed. I’ve been advised for a long time to find some form of meditation or mindfulness to practice, as I have a very overactive thinking capacity and that can create stress. I took the plunge and found a mindfulness/drumming class and it was perfect for me! I know I am not someone to doing sitting mindfulness, so adding the drumming and having music as part of the process, was perfect for me. A big key is practice and awareness. I even love the idea of mindfulness walking, as it gives me the chance to be out in nature and getting away from life’s stressors.

    Reply
    • Cathy

      It’s great that you found something that conforms to your needs. I did perpetual adoration in the middle of the day and it took me 45 minutes to settle down…. until I learned some tricks, but it’s still nicer to do it your way. I saw you’re in USANA, when I was at Sanoviv, the exercise to tighten and release muscles did a lot for me…and the music was nice too.

      Reply
  6. Lori English

    Cathy,
    A great aticle on Mindfulness, and the practice of mindfulness opens up our awarness to seeing what we can work on or already have . It allows us to focus on ” pinpointing” what we are really thinking and doing, instead of what we are perceiving. A good way to slow down the brain and become more focused.

    Lori English

    Reply
    • Cathy

      You’re so right Lori and isn’t it funny how far off our perception can be.

      Reply
  7. JENNIFER QUISENBERRY

    I get migraines too. They are the worst. I had a hysterectomy and don’t get them nearly as often now as I did before, but I’ll certainly remember this the next time they strike. I’ve been trying to incorporate more healthful principles into my daily practice.

    Reply
  8. Joyce Hansen

    I’m a big advocate for mindfulness. It’s especially good for letting the brain clear its buffer. Since we live in a world with so much information coming at us all the time, being mindful allows us to slow things down and get the rich benefits of what our brain has to process. It’s a no-cost remedy that anyone can use anytime. You can’t beat that.

    Reply
  9. Lorii Abela

    MIndfullness is indeed a great practice. It can stop information overload and give clarity. Sometimes, turning off the radio can be calming, too. Nowadays is one of the most stressed times even though we are living in a tech world.

    Reply
  10. Apolline Adiju

    I live by this quote ““Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” I have had ( and still have sometimes) migraines that are really strong and they compel me to get into a more relaxed mood. I have never tried mindfulness and will definitely follow your instructions next time I get a migraine.

    Reply
  11. Webly

    I find I have to remind myself to stop expecting so much of myself, to leave the dishes dirty, and to just do nothing sometimes. Being aware of our feelings, the way our body feels helps to remind ourselves that we ARE doing a good job and not everything need to get done right away.

    Reply

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