There are so many ways Mindfulness Meditation can improve your life. The simple act of sitting still in a quiet(ish) place for a few minutes a day can dramatically improve the quality of your life. Sitting still and noticing the sensations in your body, the nature of those sensations (pain, ease, itch, ache) without judgement and a little examination, going deeper into that feeling.Then noticing what it feels like to sit. The weight of your body against the chair, or sofa, or ground. What is your back leaning on, or are you sitting straight up, what do those muscles feel like? Then noticing the sounds around you. [As I sit and write this I can hear my dehumidifier running, occasional traffic passing by, the dog on my bed breathing heavily, the intermittent plop of a drop of water form the tap.] Then noticing thoughts and letting them go. Maybe that car driving by is going too fast, let it go, maybe you had an argument with your husband or wife, let it go. Let it all go. Let everything pass through you and let it go.
By doing any variation of this kind of meditation daily, you will begin to notice some pretty neat things happen in your day to day experiences. Here are a few:
- Your memory and ability to learn new things will improve. It is easier to absorb information when your stress levels are in check, but also, daily meditation helps the brain thicken something called the myelin sheath. This sheath is the “oil” that lubricates the neurones in the brain. Messages are sent faster and better when myelin is abundant.
- It helps you get in touch with you. It increases your awareness of your physical self without the judgmental part, once you start to “notice” yourself, you will become more and more present, and more and more okay with what is.
- You become more self-aware as well, how you “are” in the events of your life. How you behave with others and towards yourself. This one can be difficult because while we are all amazing creatures, we are also childish, reactive, needy, selfish etc. too. But with the mindfulness practise there is the eventual removal of judgment. First you may notice your behaviour, then you may judge yourself, but then, you will notice your judgements, then you can let them go. It creates the habit of acknowledgement and release. Letting it go.
- You will be more able to regulate your emotions and reactions to the events of your life, calm yourself and control or decompress negative reactions you may be having. This also helps keep stress levels down.
It will also help you pay attention. Everyone in your life, including you, will surely appreciate this improvement.
- It also makes you nicer, kinder, less judgmental, and more compassionate.
- It aids your weight loss goals. Really. It makes sense. I know. I eat emotionally and out of boredom and mindlessly at times. This goes on for too long, and suddenly your 10 pounds heavier, or 20. Mindfulness helps this by helping you process you feelings, regulating your feelings and keeping your awareness with you. You will now be mindful and kinder to yourself with food.
One last point that I think I have tried to convey with this list of benefits:
IT KEEPS WORKING EVEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT MEDITATING, IN FACT LONG LONG AFTERWARDS….
…because, eventually, it changes the interior structure of you brain. Its like doing pilates for your noggin. It makes it stronger, and smother and does so from the inside.
By Jessica Olson