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.
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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
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.
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.
I have my hands full with the food changes and stress relief. I am going to commit to making gradual changes to the list of 5 above. I will make more of a committed effort next year. I believe that it is a mistake to take on more than what we can reasonably handle.
Now that a vegan/raw lifestyle is comfortable and natural, my main goal is to eliminate stress. I will continue to add one new recipe a week to my cache and learn from all my new sources. My main focus will be to relieve stress with the following:
- Pinpoint the things that cause stress in my life
bydaily journaling and then going back and highlighting anything stressful in my day.
- Continuing daily exercise of 30-60 minutes of HIIT cardio and 45 min. 3 times a week strength training.
- Praying and spending a minimum of 30 minutes daily quietly with God.
- Practicing biofeedback and other
stress reducingactivities. (I am signed up for 10 yoga sessions, we will see how that goes).
- 30 minutes minimum daily learning, reading and growing spiritually.
- Very limited political news.
- Very limited television.
- 1/2 hour daily reading and talking time with my granddaughter.
- 2 rounds of golf a week with my husband.
- Nightly walk with my husband after dinner.
- Community contribution and involvement through my church and other fitness organization.
- Steps to reduce stress in my business by eliminating stressful associations and relying more on trusted and reliable people.
- Eliminating superfluous household items, furniture, people in my life.
I know that I have a lot on my list.