Your mind can make you healthy, happy and slender?
I don’t think I appreciated the art of “being” until I was forced to. I love being busy, I love being challenged and I love helping others. This combination has always meant I am pretty manic….add that to living in a city and I hardly ever take time out, every second of every day is crammed full of things. My mind is always racing and I am always coming up with ideas.
Then I had Grace.
I was thrown into a world where I lost control, I had to just be due to feeding and I was not at work. I found that by being present, I appreciated everything I had so much more. It then started me thinking more about mindfulness and que my new love of yoga.
My yoga practice became something I looked forward to, the guided meditation at the end of a physical practice always lifted my heart as I appreciated others in my life and dedicated my practice to them. The quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn “In Asian languagesthe word “mind” and “heart” are the same. So when we hear the word mindfulness, we also hear heartfulness” became clearer to me.
I never before had time for meditation, I never saw the benefits and I hated sitting still. It is interesting therefore that I do however love walking around London looking at the architecture, I love being outside in nature, I love the peace of sitting in my conservatory and reading a book or just being looking at the garden. Never before did I realize that these were my own little mediations of sort. What is yours?
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
- Weight loss: Being mindful can start by simply realizing your actions in a day. I always recommend to client to be mindful about what you eat. Don’t write it down, just be aware and think about it. By being mindful we can break habits that can offer a positive impact on life.
- Heal the body: Numerous studies have now shown the impact of meditation on physical health. Just read Relaxation Revolution by Herbert Benson and William Proctor for insight into the mind and the power of healing. They list the impact on: nausea, asthama, heart failure, anxiety to name a few. Their rationale is that all health conditions have an element of stress, reduce this and the body can heal
- Reduce aging: I recently read how meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness helps reduce aging in 2 ways. Firstly is reducing stress and the impact on the body the second is though a change in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, slowing the thinning process which happens with age. This reduces the impact on cognitive functions, such as sensory and emotional processes.
- Increase wisdom: The clarity and changes to your brain that you benefit from help reduce stress, allowing you to engage with your wisdom and make better decisions.
- Reduce loneliness and increase happiness: Lonliness is such a saddening emotion that everyone feels at some point in life. Mindfulness training has been proven to increase happiness, the emption that helps us deal with the ups and downs in life. Mindfulness not only reduces negative emotions it increases the positive ones.
- Boosts creativity: Steve Jobs affirmed this one, he practiced meditation and spoke regularly of the connection between creativity and mindfulness. By calming the mind we hear the more subtle thoughts. Focus and clarity.
These benefits sound amazing, but we need to learn how to practice mindfulness. It does not come easily to everyone (including me!). Once we learn basic techniques we need to practice regularly to keep our positive mindful reserves topped up.
Join us on Sunday at 4pm for our meditation class
See you on the mat x