If you practice mindfulness consistently and over a period of time, your brain function will literally change and transform – current research says so! Associated with ancient contemplative practices, mindfulness is a way of being now based on scientifically proven techniques that boost your day-to-day performance and alter your brain structure and function.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently pooled data from more than 20 studies to understand how practicing mindfulness affects the brain (you can read more here).
- The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the part of the brain that is responsible for self-control. It enables you to resist temptation or distractions, increase focus and avoid impulsive behaviour to work more efficiently, make better choices and elicit more effective problem solving strategies.
- The hippocampus, which is responsible for resilience in the face of setbacks and challenges. The hippocampus is damaged by stress making it an area most need to develop.
Mindfulness is a great practice to help you deal with stress and learn to be more intentional in your thoughts and feelings rather than feeling out of control and reactive to your environment.
Mindfulness and meditation is perhaps the only natural way to change your brain in this way and you can begin experiencing the benefits from just a little practice everyday.
Once you begin to notice the changes and cultivate awareness of the present moment you will know this is probably one of the most precious things you can do for yourself. It also has a ripple effect on those around you.
Want to grow your mindfulness muscles? Begin by sitting for a moment and focusing on your breath, extend the inhale and exhale deeper so the quality of your breathing is now enhanced. When you start to do this you will become aware of yourself, by turning your attention inward to your breath it is hard not to notice how your body is feeling and what your mind is thinking. Mindfulness begins when we start observing the mind and body in the present moment, without judgment.
You can begin to develop mindfulness using a simple breathing technique for 15 minutes a day in the morning and night and just through this little change in your daily habit, after a month you will notice significant change. For more information on mindfulness, please visit my website www.melbournecoach.com.au
Thanks for reading
Marion is a certified business and wellness coach and mindfulness teacher with 7 years experience in practice. Using a holistic approach Marion helps clients reduce stress and build resiliency through Mindful practices to sustain their personal and professional growth. Working with coaching and mindfulness principals she helps clients develop a positive and authentic mindset and be strategic about developing new habits that lead to change.