Mindfulness: it’s a couple of thousand years old, and it’s new every time you do it! Even if you have tried Mindfulness before and failed, its worth trying again.
Why? Mindfulness changes the structure and function of the brain and nervous system- in a good way. Just 10 minutes a day benefits our physical, mental and emotional health, reduces stress and irritability, and reduces the risk of making mistakes. There is lots of science behind it, but here are some typical examples from patients I have worked with recently.
It helps sleep- one of my patients was able to stop taking 7 different kinds of sleeping medication and just use Mindfulness at night for a perfect sleep- something he hadn’t been able to do in 10 years after suffering PTSD!
Someone else was able to use Mindfulness to manage chronic pain that was previously agonising and crippling, to transform and restart his life. He literally changed his relationship with pain from master to servant, got off a heap of addictive pain killers, and got his life back again, only better!
Yet another patient was able to overcome panic attacks and some addictive and compulsive behaviours through Mindfulness. She created better work relationships, and her personal life took a much happier course, and her self confidence rose dramatically.
Mindfulness at its core is simply focusing on one thing at a time, or perhaps two things, done with kind, non- judgemental awareness. But according to Dr. Craig Hassed we are more used to an endless mindless pattern of non stop habits of thinking, and are frequently “hijacked” by thoughts and emotions.
With practice and repetition, we learn to quiet the mind yet completely focus on one thing at a time, without judgement, cultivating an open, kind, accepting attitude. It is like looking through a magnifying glass at the world which is right under our nose, studying one thing at a time.
A brain and nervous system that is Mindful, is calmer and simply works better. It is more open to clear thinking, communication and loving relationships. Patients report improved sleep, concentration, energy levels, and less stress, for example when driving (road rage disappears for some!). Physical symptoms of stress reduce or disappear. Best of all, time slows and we can experience each moment as something truly precious.
At the Growing Heart, we are so committed to Mindfulness we made our own recording- the first track can be downloaded free here. We also offer weekly Mindfulness practices, and will be releasing a new CD soon with more tracks for those who struggle to sit still.
Buy your own copy of our Mindfulness CD on iTunes, or call us and have it shipped today.
Call Claire on 0408509110 for more information, or to attend our weekly Mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness Practice: study your hand for one minute. Bring all of your attention and awareness to this, and let go of all other thoughts, sensations, and emotions. Allow yourself to notice your hand as if it was the first time you have ever seen it. Can you do this for one minute? Ten minutes? Notice how quickly your mind starts to chatter and protest when you do this, and tries to hijack you. Keep practicing, with just 10 minutes a day, the mind becomes calmer and chatter subsides. If can challenge yourself to practice for 30 minutes a day, in about six weeks you should be much better at focusing, and calmer.