By Shannon Boatwright
I admit it…I am a multi-tasker. So much so that sometimes it’s more a problem than an efficient way of life. Not always mind you! I do pride myself on being a true multi-tasking Queen. But, indeed it literally is as if my mind is never at rest. Ever. So yes, there are times when my mindful restlessness hinders me, instead of allowing me to truly live in the moment.
I’ve spoken of this subject before in other blog entries. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I’m a mother & a fine arts teacher plagued with worry and to-do lists galore, and happen to be a very creative person consistently inspired by different things… which makes for a very busy mind!
So what is mindfulness really? The basic, to the point answer is, being in the moment. It’s all about truly observing your surroundings, thoughts and sensations – free of judgement – simply taking in the world around you and engaging all of your senses. Mindfulness is a sense of recognition and awareness of your environment and flat out being present.
Let’s really think on this… When we speak of mindfulness, what we’re really talking about these days, is what most people refer to as meditation. Do you meditate in your daily life?A fascinating quote by Blaise Pascal, a 17th century mathematician, states, “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” Especially thinking on our world today, that is completely overdosed with media and constant drama, I honestly think this would be literally impossible for some people. To just be. To sit quietly anywhere really. So yes, I could see where that sad fact could lead to unhappiness.
Scientists have discovered many benefits to meditating and have valid proof on how it can help treat all kinds of emotional and physical issues.
Check out these science-backed benefits…
- Soothes your achy back. Long term meditation can lead to pain relief.
- Helps with hot flashes. Studies show that mindfulness, yoga, and deep breathing have a chilling effect on hot flashes.
- Sweetens slumber – helping you be better rested and less depressed.
- Provides an escape. Meditation turns on the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, the flip side of fight-or-flight, decreasing heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension.
- Increases self-control. Mindfulness can literally help you distance yourself from cravings.
- Helps with IBS! Yes, studies show that mindfulness stress reduction can help with tummy issues.
- Meditation literally can help you be happy – it curbs activity in the brain’s amygdala, which helps govern anxiety, stress and anger.
- Improved cognition. Better memory!
- Creates in you more empathy and compassion. Goodness knows the world needs that!
While the thought of “doing nothing” may drive you a bit mad, as it does me. It’s something we should all seriously look into attempting to accomplish if we really want to make the best of life and most importantly, of a healthy, well lived life. So daily, I plan to make an honest effort to be mindful. Yes, I said it. Even amongst my constant busyness that consistently instigates my nonstop mind, I vow to take those precious moments to just be, to notice, actually use my senses to take in the world around me and appreciate my surroundings as I hopefully rest my mind.
Do you engage in real mindfulness on a regular basis?
If so, #1 I am jealous! #2, how do you accomplish it?