Why Mindfulness? Paying attention to your present moment on purpose.
by Neil Rasmussen, B.S., LMT, FRCms
We all have the potential to experience life with a little more ease. Through changing how we relate to ourselves and the environment around us we gain access to things like sleeping better, managing work stress, improving communication with loved ones, regulating psychological agitations or maybe gaining better access to your life’s purpose.
At any moment we can take advantage of this potential we all have within, accessing mindful states and breath as a trained skill. Through practice of paying attention to your present moment on purpose we allow ourselves to experience life freely in our most optimal states of human being, and grow the brain structures necessary for living our best.
Whether for performance, well-being or self-discovery, mindfulness and meditation can have profound effects on your brain and the associated mind functions. With nearly 12,000 studies citing mindfulness or meditation on PubMed alone there is a sincere reason this buzz topic has gained so much popularity. We all have the ability to change, a concept called neuroplasticity. Our brain is constantly updating and reaffirming the hardware of our mind. This [present moment] is where we unlock the ability to create the human we truly want.
Through practice of paying attention to your present moment ON PURPOSE, we allow ourselves to experience life freely in our most optimal states of human BEing.
There are numerous neuroscience journals describing the measured benefits from practices of mindfulness/meditation; almost 2000 in year 2020 alone! The observed benefits of mindfulness meditation include(1-4):
Changes in Brain Tissue Structures; neuroplasticity
Reduction in depression, anxiety, ADHD and brain atrophy
Reduced blood pressure
Better immune function
Improved behavior in school-aged children
Boost productivity in workplace and sport performance
These benefits often bring a sense of freshness while moving forwards through life’s flow. The inevitable stress that we experience on Earth will be much more manageable when we learn to intentionally shape our perspective, mind and brain through meditation and mindfulness practice. We inevitably have this potential to change until at least our last breaths. Why not evolve intentionally, to better ourselves and the culture we live in..?
While this all may sound great, it can be uncomfortable and difficult to take healing upon ourselves. When we believe that someone else is taking full care of our human health it can bring relief as though everything is under control.
The reality is that much of our life is out of our control; regardless of anything else we do we must learn the skills of awareness. Incorporating mindfulness and meditation has been studied as an antidote, or at least an essential part of the healing puzzle in nearly all of modern chronic diseases(4). Unfortunately we often negate this simple practice as the power of allopathic medicine pushes pills and surgery as Primary Medicine, seeing contemplative practices as part of “alternative medicine”. Why not empower yourself to heal before jumping to such serious means as cutting the body open or daily pills?
Everything has its place, but if we want true healthcare we need to address the components of mindfulness and breathwork with many more conditions than we presently do. What this looks like for you will be different than for others, this is what makes it exciting! You get to reconstruct your relationship with yourself. Imagine if we talked to a friend the way we talked to ourselves… if this were the case we probably wouldn’t have very many friends. Moving forward you get to take advantage of the newness to change, becoming your greatest advocate through simple awareness of your mind, breath and body.
Need some more direction on starting your mindfulness practice ?
CLICK BELOW to access a MINDFULNESS 101 PDF Handout!
Want to work with a Meditation Coach to really understand how to optimize your mind? Overwhelmed with stress or mood swings? Let Neil be your advocate. Read more about Mindfulness at The Facility here.
Ready to dive in and work one-on-one with Neil? Book an Integrated Massage + Mindfulness Session to jump start your healing.
Altered Traits, Goleman, Danial & Davidson, Richard (2017)
Meditation for FidgetySkeptics, Harris, Dan (2017)
Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26799456
The effects of chronic stress on health: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of brain–body communication. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5137920/