Last updated on April 26th, 2020
Do you wonder how How Mindfulness Empowers Us?
Opposing Forces. Fear versus Courage. Desire versus Self-discipline. Discouragement versus Optimism. We all possess them, and they’re part of what makes us human.
Can you imagine unlocking the secret to taming these opposing forces to achieve improved physical and mental wellness?
Though this remedy, called mindfulness, may not be a “miracle cure,” it can help you to gain complete awareness of your thoughts and senses. And this sense of self pours out in a positive way to all areas of life which can grant you a firm grasp on empowerment.
Here’s a quick summary:
- What is Mindfulness?
- So How Mindfulness Empowers Us?
- What are the benefits of mindfulness?
- Can Mindfulness Empower Us to Master Our Vices?
- How Does Mindfulness Work?
- How Can You Practice Mindfulness and Meditation?
- How to Convert Mindfulness into Action?
- A Final Word on Mindfulness
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness, according to a publication based in Berkeley, is the mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment.
It enables you to acknowledge and accept bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings. So, you’re able to process this knowledge without wondering if there’s a right or wrong way to feel about the situation.
So How Mindfulness Empowers Us?
Mindfulness helps us to quash the internal conflict that causes us to “freeze up” when we ponder the unknown. In other words, we learn to be mindful of and to walk away from the battle between the two opposing forces.
When met with this kind of adversity, practicing mindfulness promotes more trust in your instincts. In turn, this leads to more sound decision-making and self-confidence.
For instance, if you’re afraid to make a career change, that’s not only normal but expected. Fear, in this case, reminds you that you’re embarking on new adventures. You might hesitate to try something new, but mindfulness can transform fear into motivation.
Basically, we can’t always help how we feel. However, when we’re mindful of our feelings, we can control how we react.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
The practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years. More recently, it has gained significant recognition in the business world. This is because we are now more informed about how these practices alter the wiring of our brains and their effect on our decision making.
Mindfulness empowers us to have greater control over our mental health and there have been several studies on the direct benefits it has on people.
Here Is How Mindfulness Empowers Us:
· Lowers Anxiety
Backed up by science, mindfulness has been proven to reduce people’s anxiety levels.
In 2013, a study was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital on 93 individuals with DSM-IV-diagnosed generalised anxiety disorder.
· Improves Working Memory
Research has found that improvements to working memory may be another benefit of mindfulness.
In 2010, a study by Jha et al., compared 3 different groups of people. There was a military group who participated in an 8-week mindfulness training course, a nonmeditating military group, and a group of nonmeditating citizens.
· Helps People with Depression
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has been found to potentially help in preventing and treating depression. It combines elements from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).
According to William Kuyken, a professor at the University of Oxford:
“MBCT helps them to recognize that’s happening, engage with it in a different way and respond to it with equanimity and compassion”.
He also went on to conduct a study which revealed that MBCT contributed to the prevention of depression as effectively as anti-depressant medication.
· Health Benefits
Mindfulness has also been proven to have several health benefits.
In one study, people with heart disease were randomly assigned to either a meditation focused program or to a waitlist for the program while receiving normal heart disease treatment.
Can Mindfulness Empower Us to Master Our Vices?
Another way mindfulness facilitates empowerment is by improving self-regulation. This characteristic can be a powerful thing. You’re focusing on the moment or experience. All the while, you refrain from self-judgement which allows you to completely accept the situation rather than just reacting.
However, don’t mistake this acceptance for resignation. It’s far from just settling for whatever.
In reality, you’ve achieved the ability to experience the moment but without suppressing or fixating on it. Imagine being able to just let it go. This is just the beginning of the empowerment gained through mindfulness.
How Does Mindfulness Work?
A very basic illustration of this ability lies in the function of eating. You feel hungry. Perhaps your stomach rumbles. At the same time, you keep from questioning yourself, “How can I be hungry when…?” (You can fill in the blank.)
Instead, you acknowledge the need for nourishment. Whether it’s a smoothie or a multi course meal, you enjoy the flavor, texture, and aroma. You experience this tasty food with all your senses.
From there, you detect the tell-tale heaviness in your middle. The message of being satisfied comes in loud and clear. Thus, you stop eating.
How can complete awareness of hunger and satiety empower you?
My friend, you’ve just inched closer to conquering the beast of “stress eating.” Thus, you’re taking back your health.
So, you might wonder how mindfulness works in other complex areas of life. Aside from physical wellness, it leads to improved emotional regulation and decreased impulsivity when reacting to your emotions.
In a study, for instance, published by Davis and Hayes of Penn State, the group who practiced mindfulness meditation expressed less feelings of depression or inadequacy. This then leads to more flexibility in responding to situations.
Plus, mindfulness plays a role in interpersonal awareness and relationships. As an example, a couple tends to listen more closely to each other. There’s also an improved awareness of the body language and facial expressions of the partner. Most importantly, the two parties find communication to be more open and respectful given the heightened cognizance of all these combined factors.
How Can You Practice Mindfulness and Meditation?
Putting mindfulness into practice takes time and some small steps. One thing to remember is that this is a lifelong journey as opposed to a short-term boot camp.
First off, consider setting a daily purpose. A focused intention places any misgivings into perspective by reminding you of the “why.”
Let’s use the scenario of having to give a presentation at work. You have “stage fright.”
Devoting all attention on the reason for delivery (i.e.: promotion, training colleagues) will help you to rise above the fear. Therefore, try making the purpose your mantra.
Another activity that promotes mindfulness is meditation. Deep breathing and guided imagery are great places to start (especially in that scenario of giving a presentation).
Or try downloading a free mindfulness app. Accessing mindfulness exercises doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money.
How to Convert Mindfulness into Action?
One other way to incorporate an exercise in mindfulness is to incorporate a favorite pastime to your relaxation routine. Creative outlets or even physical activity, like walking, produces those feel-good endorphins that promote good health.
Furthermore, practicing acts of kindness equals increased self-awareness and emotional awareness of those around you. This can be as simple as smiling and greeting someone.
Plus, a positive action takes your mind off the negativity in addition to cutting stress. Better yet, you might build more genuine connections through your actions.
And Most Importantly…
This means taking a break from your device and social media. Cutting the screen time does wonders for your mental health and allows you to focus on breathing, meditation, journaling, or whichever exercise you choose.
A Final Word on Mindfulness
So we hope we clearly explained how mindfulness empowers us and we believe we inspired you practise mindfulness more.
Basically, we perform better if we are aware of and able to grow our emotional intelligence, which consists of five qualities: self-awareness, self-management, motivation, empathy, and leadership.
All the previously mentioned practices of mindfulness can help you develop these qualities. By allowing yourself to be fully in the moment without judging or over-analyzing your mental response to it, you’ll experience a whole other type of freedom that you never imagined to be possible.
Your loved ones will also notice the difference.