Is there a connection between mindfulness and wellness?
Can practising mindfulness improve your health and well being?
The answer to that is a definite Yes! Making mindfulness part of your life can be life changing and your health and general well being will greatly benefit from it.
“The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Research has shown us that practicing mindfulness and especially mindfulness meditation, can improve and address various medical and psychological difficulties. You can expect improvements from problems such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, oversleeping, depression, high blood pressure, acute and chronic pain, weight problems, addiction, psoriasis, fibromyalgia and many more. Although science doesn’t have all the answers yet about the relationship between mindfulness and wellness, it is known that the physical changes in the brain have a direct influence on improved health.
Mindfulness increases the connectivity between areas in the brain that has to do with attention, visual and auditory processing. The density of the brain also increases in areas that control memory, attentiveness and empathy while decreasing in areas that controls anxiety and nervous tension.
Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging (Jan. 30, 2011)
There is growing evidence that mindfulness can alter the brain and resulting from that, the body and health of regular practitioners. It triggers the “relaxation response” that can turn sets of genes on or off. These genes controls how the body reacts to stress, deal with free radicals, inflammation and even cell death. Herbert Benson, Harvard Medical School
Mindfulness and wellness
Being mindful means not dwelling or paying attention to thoughts concerning your past or future that might cause you distress. Letting go of these thoughts can give you a much needed break from stress, while helping you achieve objectivity, distance and perspective. If you find meditating difficult, you can practice mindfulness while you are doing ordinary things that demand your full attention like: listening to music, making something, gardening or even cleaning. You can take some time out of your day to do a simple mindfulness exercises by focusing on your posture, your breath, the sensations you are feeling and being aware of what is going on around you, without involving yourself in it. By simply pulling yourself back into the moment you are in, will give you relief from the constant running commentary we all have going on in our heads. By destressing you increase wellness.
Tools for mindfulness and wellness
There are some powerful tools to help you with de-stressing and developing the skill of mindfulness. A low costs easy to use tool is brainwave entrainment CDs or Mp3s. They use specially modulated frequencies that mimic brainwave patterns. Listening to this encourages your brain to mimic these patterns, which helps you to become more relaxed much faster and deeper than normal meditation or deep relaxation techniques.
The most powerful tool is neurofeedback. It is used to precisely map brain function to identify brainwave patterns and brain structures not functioning correctly and to target those structures with training. Neurofeedback monitors real-time brain activity and feedbacks that back to the person via the computer screen, which gives the brain information about its own functioning that gives it an extra ability to shift out of old, stuck and dysfunctional patterns.
As a natural outcome of the neurofeedback process a powerful organic state of mindfulness is created within months as it focuses and quiets the mind that is equivalent to years of dedicated serious mindfulness training. This helps people who have great difficulty focussing in the first place, which causes a lot of their issues and makes mindfulness training slow and ineffective. Likewise others with serious mood disorders like: anxiety, depression, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder or developmental trauma who are really struggling with their emotional states and thoughts can have dramatic and fast relief with neurofeedback.
For those who want to supercharge their personal development, peak performance goals or meditation practice neurofeedback is the most powerful kick-start there is that can accelerate your progress equivalent to many years of regular dedicated high quality mindfulness and meditation practice.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how we can help you with healing, wellness, peak performance or personal development, please do not hesitate to contact us.