Last summer, I enrolled in an eight week Mindfulness Meditation course. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) combines the use of mindfulness meditation (attention) and yoga. MBSR benefits people who have suffered from various chronic disorders and diseases. Mindfulness cultivates a greater awareness and attention to reactions of the mind and body, as well as tapping into unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that sabotage emotional, physical, and spiritual health. We become what we think about and thoughts can harm or heal.
Meditation has been shown to positively alter many autonomic physiological processes, such as lowering blood pressure and emotional reactivity. Mindfulness teaches attention to or attending to our inner processes, another or a thing. When we slow down our immediate gut level responses, not only do we appreciate differences but see nuances we would usually miss. In the "must see" film Avatar, the Na' vi greet each other a bit differently than most. Upon meeting it is customary to lock eyes and utter the words "I see you" (Cameron, 2009). Their deep, intuitive inner knowing exemplifies the concept of mindfulness. It involves attending to one's inner feelings and behavior and the feelings and behavior's of others with deep understanding. It's a form of respect." I see you" is the equivalent of, "I see your Soul".
Compulsive behaviors compromise mindfulness (Brown & Ryan, 2003). The Type A personality is generally outwardly focused not attending to their inner signals, the intuitive body. This form of consciousness or awareness corresponds to what has been called emotional intelligence, clarity of one's emotional states. If we are aware of our emotional states, we can pause before reacting, or overreacting resulting in less stress.
Mindfulness meditation is an excellent tool for learning to assist individuals with anxiety, stress, anger, eating disorders, and recovery from many addictions. When we are introspective, knowledge in gained, and perspective is enhanced through the inner journey. It is through introspection that healing occurs.
The video below is explains mindfulness quite well. I hope you enjoy it.
Cameron, J. (2009). Avatar. Fox. Retrieved from http://www.avatarmovie.com/
Brown, K. W. & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. American Psychological Association, Inc., 84(4), 822–848.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living. New York: A Delta Book published by Dell Publishing.
Kaiser Greenland, S. (2010). Mindfulness is not a crystal ball. [Electronic version]. Retrieved from Youtube.
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