Many people assume that mindfulness is a New Age fad that offers nothing to them as far as improving their lives. They may know it’s about being aware of what’s happening at this very moment and paying great attention to our thoughts and emotions in regards to it, but many people don’t realize that mindfulness can keep us from overreacting and being overwhelmed. This is why mindfulness has such a positive impact on those who practice it.
Think about the opposite end of the spectrum. Think about what it must be like to live with constant regrets about the past and worries about the future. It may be difficult to imagine focusing, or even wanting to focus, on the here-and-now when your mind and body are anything but at peace. Leading healthcare professionals believe that through the practice of mindfulness, they can reverse, or at the very least lessen, the stress patients may be experiencing.
Why are they so optimistic?
Well, because studies have shown the positive effects of slowing down and embracing mindfulness and all it has to offer. It is profoundly healing and can assist in the prevention of disease as well as its diagnosis and treatment. It will help patients as they go through palliative care and, if practiced by family members and caregivers, it can make the entire troubling situation less troubling for all.
So how does mindfulness heal?
By going into a deep state of mindfulness, making yourself push away the negativity and irrational thoughts or stressors, the mind goes in search of internal resources that ease the tension. When we begin to alleviate that tension, the physical ailments all but disappear. It can promote healing and peace in our lives. Knowing that there’s someplace to compartmentalize all that ails us sparks a shift in the way we think and the way we carry ourselves.
Mindfulness gives our minds the feeling of spaciousness, which promotes clarity. It’s a signal for your mind and body to release stress and find its center, a new starting point with your eyes and mind wide open. It becomes the foundation to help patients make good decisions and navigate all that is stressing them.
Another important benefit is that mindfulness will allow you to have less emotional reactivity and more stability of mind. Not overreacting emotionally helps bring greater clarity. It’s a new way of being in this world and being in control of how your mind and body react to stressors.
By Julia Jaramillo