Mindfulness is a word that has been floating around for quite some time, coming under the umbrella of health and wellness. It is a term that is used to describe our mental state and being aware of what we are doing in life. Mindfulness can be used in many contexts, but notably it is known as a very simple yet effective form of meditation, where you focus your full attention on your breath, your mind and your body. Many health experts and public figures swear by this form of meditation, and there have also been many apps and books released on how to find your peace of mind and become more calm.
It’s no secret that meditation has long been a therapy used in many different cultures to help a person find themselves and become more at one with their mind and body. Some of the earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism around 1500 BC. Around the 6th to 5th centuries, other forms developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India.
What can mindfulness do for you?
Over time mindfulness can help bring long-term changes to your mood and happiness levels as well as wellbeing. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but that it also has a positive effect on the brain, targeting anxiety, stress and irritability. It has also been found that your memory and reaction times become much faster with your mental stamina increasing. Mindfulness also reduces addictive and self-destructive behaviour, including drug taking, alcoholism and self-harming. Doing meditation can also improve the heart and circulatory system by reducing blood pressure and hypertension.
How do you do it?
With the practice of mindfulness being tried and tested much more in this digitally engaged world, it’s much easier to find places and groups who offer the practice. Seek meditation classes nearby and attend with a friend if you’re nervous, or download one of the many apps available on app world. There are also countless books available on mindfulness, meditation and how exactly to do it that you can easily practise from the comfort of your own home.
When will I see results?
The effects of mindfulness meditation depend on how much you practise. Most people find that it takes at least 20 minutes for the mind to begin to settle. But in terms of long term, you must invest your time and yourself into the art of meditation. Many people have found it to improve their lives but most after weeks maybe months of meditation – it is not an instant gratification exercise and each person is different. Your outlook and willingness to learn will determine how much it changes your attitude towards life.