THE ART OF MINDFULNESS IN OUR FAST-PACED WORLD
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is paying attention to what we are doing at any moment of our life. It means living in the present instead of beating ourselves up for our past mistakes, or worrying about our future.
Living in the moment allows our body to rest, because there is no stress in the present moment, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness Movement. He also said that if we're breathing, there is more right with us than wrong.
When we accept life as it comes to us, without avoiding or judging it, we live in peace and harmony with ourselves and others.
Mistakes we did in our past were learning steps that shaped us into what we are now and taught us valuable lessons.
We should accept ourselves the way we are; nobody has a perfect life without mistakes. We can’t live in the past, because we cannot change it. We can’t predict the future, because life changes and everything moves forward, so we don’t have control over it.
We can control only how we respond to our present moment.
Stress that we get, as we think too much about the past and try to control the future, causes us many problems- physical, mental, and emotional. Some of them are: headaches, indigestion, depression, and even serious health consequences.
“If you don't think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend.” - Kris Carr
The mindful approach to stress lets us respond to stress in a positive way, by noticing and managing it. We can recognize our emotional responses, and then choose how to behave.
Mindfulness can relieve stress, reduce blood pressure, depression, pain, and anxiety. It improves relationships and taste for life.
Many studies found out benefits of mindfulness meditation for the heart health.
Regular practice significantly helps high blood pressure over the long term. Stress and anxiety create strain on the cardiovascular system; meditation is an amazing tool for reducing stress and chronic anxiety.
Meditation is also known as a great Immune Booster. Meditation helps ward off illness and infections. In some studies testing immune function, they gave flu shots to volunteers who didn’t meditate and to those who meditated for eight weeks.
Blood tests after that showed that the meditation group of people had higher levels of antibodies produced against the flu.
The digestive system is one of the biological systems, that is most affected when the body is stressed and anxious. In a stress mode the body can’t be focused on everyday functioning like digestion, because everything becomes secondary to our body’s “fight or flight” survival response.
Blood oxygen levels and circulation raise their levels during meditation, which makes digestion so much easier.
MEDITATION AS A WAY OF BEING
One of the reasons to meditate is learning to be aware of the present moment and live Now.
We know how important it is to be in the present moment and accept every thought, feeling, and event coming in our life, without judgment. Only in the present moment we can live fully and control how we respond on what is going on. It helps us to fight stress that we find by regretting our past mistakes or worrying about the future.
The easiest and fastest way to stay in the present moment is concentration on a deep breathing. Breathing is an important part of a meditation process.
Meditation teaches us to be aware of our present and accept it without judgment.
Another reason to meditate would be ability to relax (develop a peace of mind) and release tension and negative emotions.
Mindful meditation lets us notice what comes to our mind, good and bad events and emotions, or pain, to just allow them to be, and move on.
We acknowledge what we are and what we want, we accept all emotions and thoughts that come to us, and then let them go.
We don’t need to control our thoughts during a meditation; we only notice them and let them be, as well as let ourselves be the way we are.
Meditation helps to increase positive energy and self-confidence, because we become more aware of ourselves and clear our mind of a negative self-talk.
Meditation can be difficult to do, because we do want to change something in our life that doesn’t make us comfortable.
To fight this, we can just remind ourselves, that we CAN change and control our response to the situation, but it can be achieved, if we first accept the situation the way it is without any negative thoughts and emotions and clear our mind.
Meditation can be practiced either in a lying or sitting down positions. The best time to do it is in the morning, as we wake up, and at night, before falling asleep.
We can meditate with our eyes open or closed, concentrate on some object, on our breaths, or on the sounds around us. Meditation on the natural environment is beneficial, because we can feel a better connection to the nature that helps us to heal and reduce stress.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast--you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” - Eddie Cantor