Mindfulness practice is a path to awakening to everything in our lives. It is a practice of being present to what’s happening in a specific kind of way, without the harmful judgments that have often become mental habits that prohibit wholeheartedness and cause exhaustion. Mindfulness teaches us to be present: present to everything in our lives. We spend most of our time in a mental movie of the past and the future. When we focus on the past we often feel depressed. When we focus on the future, we often experience anxiety. Few of us know how to be present. But as we stay in the here and now, we start to wake up. We are less and less controlled by our thoughts, bodies, or emotions. Our anxieties and depressions decrease. We experience increased concentration, equanimity, awareness, connectedness,and tolerance.
With experienced and professional instruction, mindfulness practitioners can diminish feelings of anxiety and cravings associated with addictions of every sort. A dedicated mindfulness practice can made the difference between sustained recovery and continued relapse. Consistent mindfulness practice has been proven to reduce symptoms of recurrent depression. Mindfulness practice has been shown to increase gray matter, helping us to avoid the impact of aging on the brain. It improves immunity so we can better fight off disease. Mindfulness practice is helpful in terms of managing the challenges associated with personality disorders, disordered eating, and emotional instability. It also is effective in pain reduction. Those who practice mindfulness regularly report decreased impulsivity, increased feelings of happiness, improved relationships, increased ability to focus, and improved decision-making abilities. However, the quality of your practice makes the world of difference. Learning from an experienced practitioner with a dedicated practice is a key factor for your success.
It’s no wonder individuals, organizations, even the U.S. military and sports teams are implementing mindfulness practices. If done correctly, mindfulness indisputably works.
The American Mindfulness Research Association is an organization dedicated to informing the public about mindfulness research and practices. For more information please visit AMRA at //goamra.org/