You’ve probably heard the term mindfulness being thrown around lately. Although it may seem like the newest fad, it’s actually been something that’s been around for a really long time.
With Millennials being the most-stressed out generation in recent decades, it was only a matter of time before this method of reducing stress came front and center in the media.
Research shows that mindfulness works. It can help you be happier, healthier and reduce stress. But if you’re like me, you probably think the whole idea of mindfulness is down right weird. Or, you may think it does absolutely nothing.
Let’s start with the science.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a microbiology Ph.D. then teaching at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, was inspired in the late 1970s to apply the basic principles of mindfulness meditation to patients in a medical setting. His studies found that mindfulness was effective in helping alleviate the suffering of chronic and previously debilitating medical conditions such as chronic pain. Further studies have shown that the ways we intentionally shape our internal focus of attention in mindfulness practice induces a state of brain activation during the practice. With repetition, an intentionally created state can become an enduring trait of the individual as reflected in long-term changes in brain function and structure.
Okay, now let me break it down for you: mindfulness is a powerful and effective tool that can rewire your brain. As a result you can:
- Improve learning, memory and cognitive function
- Reduce anxiety and depressive episodes
- Alleviate Stress
- Reduce distraction
In even simpler terms, you’ll be calm, refreshed and happy.
Sounds convincing but…
You don’t have the time.
You don’t have the energy.
You still think it’s weird.
Let me tell you something…
Not picking up a phone and calling people anymore is weird.
Seeing someone on the street you never met but know their whole life-story based off their Instagram page is weird.
Investing in your health and happiness by doing nothing is totally not weird!
Trust me on this one. Mindfulness and meditation have completely changed my life and my attitude (ask my husband). The easiest way to get started is to have someone talk you through a session. For the days I can’t get out of the house and make it to a physical class, I love the Headspace app. It’s free, it’s wonderful and it works.