Researchers from John Hopkins University recently published their findings suggesting that mindfulness can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety and pain, and improve sleeping patterns. In Britain, a recent report declared that Mindfulness-based therapy could offer a new choice for millions of people with recurring depression. Whilst Harvard researchers determined that mindfulness rebuilds the brain’s grey matter.
Mindfulness meditation re-grooves the brain and builds a new neurological network. Do it enough and like the studies show, you can train your brain like a muscle to stay calm and present.
The Brain is neuroplastic
The brain is not immutable, unchangeable, something that becomes fixed at a certain point in childhood. The Brain is not unregenerative either – it can be rewired. The relationship between the 500 billion neurons in your brain can be reenergised and new neural pathways formed.
The Brain’s a wonderful thing
Without question, the Brain is a wonderful thing. It is, in fact, the most complex organisation of matter we know of. The oldest part, known as the inner brain stem, dates back over 400 million years, whilst the newer bit, the new bark, is around 200 million years old.
The brutal truth, however, is that the brain is being over-stimulated by the modern world: the demands of technology, the way we work, live, how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis!
As Goethe said to Schiller
The German poet Goethe purportedly said to the philosopher Schiller, “The more I know the less I understand”.
The simple fact is that in seeking to understand the world around us, we use information from multiple sources. In reality, though, we are limited to processing only around nine pieces of the several million stimuli we are encountering at any one time.
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Do you feel unusually tired like Jamie?
I recently read that on reaching 40 the global brand Jamie Oliver was feeling unusually tired and decided to do something about it. Jamie’s not alone. One-in-five report feeling unusually tired, yet wired at the same time and wake up from their night’s sleep wondering whether they’ve slept at all. This is because of the constant narrative buzz that’s been running in their heads.
Mindfulness calms the mind
What mindfulness does is rebalance things. It calms and refreshes the mind, bringing clarity and focus by improving sleeping patterns. It helps us to achieve a slower alpha state and ultimately a dream state. This, in turn helps build resilience and mental stamina.
Your personality is not fixed
With the latest technology enabling us to see deep inside the brain, we can also see that just spending as little as five minutes a day over an eight-week period practicing mindful breathing can reduce the size of the amygdala in our brains, making us less prone to overreact.
Only 10% of our personality is down to genetics. 90% comes from learned behaviours. A leopard can change its spots – change is the only constant!
So, let’s bring on the “Mindful Revolution!”
More to read:
- What is Mindfulness?
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
- 8 Essential Time Management Strategies to Counter Procrastination
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