Becoming Mindful – Day 128 of 365 Days to a Better You

It’s amazing how much you can get done sitting perfectly still with eyes closed and legs crossed.

You’ve been taught your entire life that you can and you must rely on your five senses to interpret and understand the reality around you. We consider this process conscious awareness, but how aware and how conscious is it?

Neuroscientists estimate that your unconscious brain can process about 11 million pieces of information per second. However, your conscious brain can only process about 40 (or 3.6/1,000,000ths). Yeah. There’s a lot coming into your consciousness and experience that you’re not aware of.

That’s under pristine conditions. Consider how fragmented you are by stresses, deadlines, and multi-tasking. You have to question the quality of the conscious data you’re receiving and basing your life decisions upon.

Two things become immediately apparent. There’s a huge amount of information available to you that you’re not benefiting from consciously. Your conscious information, when used in a hurried, frazzled environment, is unreliable. I hope you’d agree that’s not a practical state of affairs.

Mindfulness is a generalized term for age-old awareness and meditation practices specifically designed to slow you down, allow you to take more in consciously, and raise your awareness.

mindfulness_definition

2012 research submitted to and published by the American Psychological Association demonstrated amazing empirical benefits such as improved focus, better memory, less depression, stress reduction, and more cognitive flexibility.

Research subjects found over time they experienced more empathy, compassion, less stress, and a better quality of life.

Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and UMASS-Amherst, has made a career of studying the benefits of mindfulness. His focus has been on general health and on people with chronic or even terminal conditions. However, the implications of his work are applicable to all our lives.

I first became aware of his work in my 20s health and psychological crisis period through his wonderful books – Full Catastrophe Living (Amazon link) and Wherever You Go There You Are Audio Version (Amazon link). They were game-changers for me personally.

If you want to go deeper on Kabat-Zinn’s research, I’ll share some links below.

Power hack: Mindfulness is a tool accessible by any human being – you included – in any moment. You don’t need a degree or special knowledge or the wisdom of a saint. You just need a quiet space to relax, breathe, let go, and become aware. The benefits to both your health and your level of awareness are amazing.

If you’re new, Gaiam.com provides these four simple steps to get you started with mindfulness meditation. We will take this deeper in a future post.

  1. Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
  4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

Begin with maybe five minutes at a time and work your way up to 20 minutes or longer.

Mindfulness meditation is the best tool I know of to become more aware of your environment and more awake to your potential, and more in-touch with the healing energies within.

Ray

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

 

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Published by

Ray Davis

I am the Founder of The Affirmation Spot, author of Annuanki Awakening, and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. My latest books are the Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation (Book 1 of a trilogy) and The Power to Be You: 417 Daily Thoughts and Affirmations for Empowerment. I have written prolifically on the topics of personal development and human potential for many years. By day, I write sales training for Fortune 100 company. I began studying affirmations and positive thinking after a life-threatening illness at 25. My thirst for self-improvement led him to read the writings of Joseph Campbell, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, and many other luminaries in the fields of mythology and motivation. Over time, I have melded these ideas into my own philosophy on self-development. I have written, recorded, and used affirmations and other tools throughout that time to improve my own life and I have a passion for helping other reach for their goals and dreams. Ray holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from University of Kansas. He lives in Framingham, MA with his wife and his black lab, Mia.

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