Radiance Wellness Institute

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 1.06.58 PMMindfulness is about being present in the moment rather than worrying about something in the future or rehashing something in the past. Mindfulness is often defined as non-judgmental, moment-to-moment awareness. Mindfulness is about being more attentive to the autopilot way we are going through the days or making more conscious choices to notice what is here and how you want to see. Mindfulness is about doing consciously some of your daily routine activities first and expanding to be mindful every moment to become an enthusiastic student for mindful living.

People with higher levels of mindfulness have better control over their emotions and behavior during the day. Higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and ability to induce relaxation.

A University of Utah study links mindfulness with increased physical and emotional wellbeing and improved sleep by lower levels of pre-sleep arousal. A study at Brown University showed mindfulness can improve an individual’s control over the brain’s processing of pain and emotion.

The Science of Relaxation

Scientists have been able to prove that mindfulness meditation training can have an impact on the structure of the brain itself. Brains can change based on experiences and are not static masses. A growing field of neuroscientists are now studying whether mindfulness-based relaxation can counteract what happens to our minds because of stress, constant distraction and mind-wandering.

Mindfulness practices can break the worry loop, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress. Intermittent stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. As the human brain evolved and increased in complexity, we developed the ability to worry, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress. Prolonged chronic stress increases your risk of heart disease, depression and obesity and decreases your cognitive performance. 

Mindfulness is a tool to master the muscle of your attention. It is about cultivation of presence for bringing all the capability into action. Mindfulness is the direct path for the purification of being and is the tool to liberation from the unwanted unpleasant thoughts and inducing relaxation. Mindfulness is to master your attention as a muscle to exercise. As with any muscle, it makes sense to exercise through mindfulness; it will strengthen from that exercise. Exercising our muscle of attention through mindfulness, we activate neuroplasticity of our brain. Science shows that mindfulness exercises produces provable benefit for brain by activating neurogenesis through the process of brain neuroplasticity.

Mindfulness can counteract what happens to our mind/body because of stress by producing the following benefits: lower cortisol, lower blood pressure, increase immune system, affect gene expression and impact brain structures through neuroplasticity. Mindfulness has the potency to help calm our mind and induce relaxation. If distraction is the dominant condition of our age, then mindfulness is the most logical antidote. The strength of mindfulness lies in its universality. Though meditation is considered an essential means to achieving mindfulness, the ultimate goal is simply to give your attention fully to what you are doing at this moment. When you are here, now, you induce active relaxation.

5 Steps to Mindfulness Meditation Practice

  1. Sit cross-legged on a cushion on the floor or in a chair. Keep your back straight and let your shoulders drop. Take a deep breath and close your eyes if you wish.
  1. Notice your breath. Don’t change your breathing, but focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your lungs through your nostrils.
  1. As thoughts come into your mind and distract you from your breathing, acknowledge those thoughts and then return to focusing on your breathing each time.
  1. Don’t judge yourself or try to ignore distractions. Your job is simply to notice that your mind has wandered and to bring your attention back to your breathing.
  1. Start by doing this 10 minutes a day for a week. The more you meditate regularly, the easier it will be to keep your attention where you want it.