“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, clarity, and acceptance of the present-moment reality. It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments. If we are not fully present for many of those moments, we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives but also fail to realize the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth and transformation.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness Pioneer
If you’ve heard of mindfulness meditation, you’ve probably heard of many of it’s benefits. It’s known to decrease the sympathetic nervous system response in the body, otherwise known as fight, flight or freeze in response to something stressful.
Studies done at the University of Massachusetts at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society show how mindfulness meditation decreases anxiety, depression, pain in the body, and helps people with better, more restful sleep.
But did you know about these 3 other benefits of mindfulness meditation?
1. Longer and Deeper Periods of Focused Concentration
In today’s world it seems like so many things are vying for our attention… everything but the task at hand! Instead of listening to the person speaking to us in the present moment, or being attentive to a specific activity, many of us are checking our Facebook, Instagram, text messages or Gmail. Some people are even doing this while driving!
It’s no wonder, with all these distractions, why more people feel disconnected from each other then ever before. A daily mindfulness practice is known to increase your ability to stick with the present moment, and stay focused on whatever truly requires our attention.
2. More Resilience Against Bullying or Social Pressures
The rise of social media has created a phenomenon of bullying that’s unprecedented in our world. It’s getting harder for parents to have a say in what information their kids take in, or who they are communicating with.
The non-profit organization, Inner Explorer, is having positive results bringing mindfulness into schools. They note that mindfulness increases both compassion and resilience in those inclined to bully, and those who’ve fallen prey to it.
Could more mindfulness in schools help create more safety? It sure seems hopeful!
3. Increased Intimacy and Connection
Studies show that something close to 50% of women are dissatisfied with the intimacy in their relationships.
When we commit to a mindfulness practice it increases our ability to feel empathy and connect with our friends, partners, or spouses. We can see more deeply into each other, feel more present when we’re spending time together, and enjoy a sense of well-being and deeper engagement in our social or romantic lives.
There are many powerful mindfulness meditation resources out there to get your practice going.
Scientific brain imaging shows that 10-15 minutes of mindfulness, 2-3 days a week can actually change the grey matter in your brain. Try it out for a few weeks and notice what changes!