Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
As such, Mindful Healing incorporates the theories of mindfulness with energy medicine, wellness principles, meditation, yoga, and acceptance to reduce stress, and initiate positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviours.
Practising mindfulness is a way of life that can bring healing and balance to our daily interactions – both external and internal.
Research has shown that practising mindfulness actually reduces grey matter in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain associated with stress, anxiety, and emotional processing.
This can reduce trauma symptoms, provide tension release, and bring comfort and ease amidst stressful times. The more we practice mindfulness, the more these responses become our natural way of handling life.
Mindfulness also enhances our awareness – it allows us to feel a deeper presence of mind: of our thoughts, emotions, and the sensations around us. Not only can this allow us to have a more accurate perception of our experiences, this can also help us to feel more grounded and stable. Recognising anxious feelings can seem scary, but understanding and honoring them can help guide us in our healing journey.
Greater self-empathy is another benefit of practising mindfulness. A key element of mindfulness is observing in a non-judgemental way. This means having insight into ourselves without blaming.
What you need to know before you get started with mindful healing
You don’t need to buy anything. You can practice anywhere, there’s no need to go out and buy a special equipment – all you need is to devote a little time and space to accessing your mindfulness skills every day.
There’s no way to quiet your mind. That’s not the goal here. There’s no bliss state or otherworldly communion. All you’re trying to do is pay attention to the present moment, without judgement.
Your mind will wander. As you practice paying attention to what’s going on in your body and mind at the present moment, you’ll find that many thoughts arise. But the wandering mind isn’t something to fear, it’s part of human nature and it provides the magic moment for the essential piece of mindfulness practice, the moment when you recognize that your mind has wandered. Because if you can notice that your mind has wandered, then you can consciously bring it back to the present moment. The more you do this, the more likely you are to be able to do it again and again.
Your judgey brain will try to take over. The second part of the puzzle is the “without judgrment” part. We’re all guilty of listening to the critic in our heads a little more than we should. When you practice mindfulness, try not to judge yourself for whatever thoughts pop up. Notice judgements arise, make a mental note of them (some people label them “thinking”), and let them pass, recognising the sensations they might leave in your body, and letting those pass as well.
It’s all about returning your attention again and again to the present moment. It seems like our minds are wired to get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the breath. We use the sensation of the breath as an anchor to the present moment. And every time we return to the breath, we reinforce our ability to do it again. Call it a bicep curl for your brain.
Original article from IOL