This is a question I am often asked. Although there are many forms of meditation that result in feelings of peace, calmness or stillness of the mind, a daily practice of Mindfulness goes a step further. It teaches one how to become aware of those thoughts that may cause stress, anxiety, worry, self-doubt, mild depression and physical conditions such as high blood pressure, allergies, headaches, insomnia, intestinal problems, asthma, skin irritations, etc., and then, choose how we want to react to them.
Neuroscientific research has shown that as many as 80-90% of our daily thoughts (50,000+) especially about ourselves are not only untrue and negative, but don’t really belong to us, rather they have been passed onto to us by parents, friends, teachers, etc. dating back from childhood, teenage years through adolescence and young adulthood. By continually repeating these thoughts or beliefs to ourselves, our brain releases neuro-transmitters, chemical messengers, which then communicate to parts of your body/nervous system. Neurotransmitters control virtually all of your body’s functions, from hormones to digestion to feeling happy, sad, or stressed. Thus we begin to feel the emotional and physical manifestations of those messages we send to the brain; e.g. “I have trouble sleeping” or “I have no patience”. When we repeat these thoughts to ourselves over & over again, clusters or connections (synapses) of neurons in our brain develop…and thus our body responds accordingly. This is a very simple explanation that can be further documented and explained in my Mindfulness Classes.
Mindfulness teaches an awareness of those negative thoughts and how you can learn to “simply let them be” without judging them or accepting them as an extension of who you are….to learn how to become less reactive in ways that may otherwise create stress, anxiety, worry, etc. which, in turn, cause many of the physical symptoms that you’re experiencing. It is never the situation you are in with a person or event that creates stress. It’s the thoughts you have about it which create the stress in your life. “What the mind does…the body does and what the body does the brain does.” Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to change brain structure and reduce reactivity to those thoughts which you have become to believe are true. They are not who you really are. Mindfulness re-defines who you are. Sorry to say most of our thoughts are just “fake news.”
That’s a brief explanation how Mindfulness works….it can open a new door for you. You just have to decide if you are ready to walk through it. Visit www.themeditationtree.com to learn more.