Mindfulness is definitely a buzz word nowadays. It’s one I hesitated to include in my copy as I worried that it would elicit an eye roll and a quick passover (was I right!?)
The power of mindfulness can not and should not be undermined. Thus, I’m here to share some of the incredible, scientifically proven benefits of mindfulness and how it can support us in living happier, healthier, longer lives. And how practicing it regularly can also empower your child to feel calmer, improve their grades and establish better relationships.
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What is mindfulness
Mindfulness is when you engage with the present moment with open curiosity and no judgement. It’s bringing yourself to the present moment without worry, fear, or expectation. It can be done both passively and actively.
How to practice mindfulness
Informal mindfulness is the practice of engaging in an activity that brings your attention to one topic or action. It’s the process of hyperfocusing on one particular event. A great example of this is colouring, or walking while observing our surroundings.
Formal mindfulness is when we sit and intentionally watch our thoughts float by without engaging with them.
What mindfulness does to our brain
Studies show that practicing mindfulness regularly allows your brain to create more connections. This is because of our brain’s plasticity – it’s ability to evolve over time. For a long period of time, we believed that our brain plasticity slowed by the time we reached our twenties. However, we now see that brain plasticity can happen well into our sixties!
A great example of this was a study on cab drivers in London. They all have to sit the intense, world-renowned Cabby exam that requires them to know all of the streets within a 10-mile radius of Charring Cross – by heart! Taxi drivers who practised meditation had a higher grey matter in their brain scans which means they’ve created new neuro-pathways easily and essentially altered the structure of their brain!
The top 10 Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness and our Health
- Mindfulness can help increase our immune system and boost our immunity to colds, flu and even cancer
- Mindfulness can add telomeres to the ends of our genes which can prolong our lives and slow down the aging process.
- Mindfulness helps to activate the parasympathetic response in our body which is the natural relaxation state.
- Mindful eating can be linked to weight loss
Mindfulness and our Emotions
- Mindfulness can help create calm as it allows us to stop worrying and ruminating
- Mindfulness provides focus and clarity
- Mindfulness boosts overall well being and optimism
- Mindfulness improves empathy and creates stronger relationships
- Mindfulness increases impulse control and helps support addictive behaviors
- Mindfulness is a highly successful technique to support anxiety, depression, and PTSD
Mindfulness and your child
Practicing mindfulness as a child can ensure that you’re providing the best chance to your young growing up with techniques and skills to stay present, keep calm, be healthy and handle change and stress more effectively.
Mindfulness and you
Learning to be mindful doesn’t have to be this intense, time consuming process. We can develop the skills and see the benefits by simply doing what we need to, with a little more attention. Informal mindfulness can be an incredible introduction to your day.
Start with a few deep breaths prior to jumping out of bed, and keep that breath conscious while driving, sitting at the desk, and before you fall asleep. Not only will it help improve blood pressure and trigger the relaxation mode in the body, but it will also allow you to feel more in control and create stronger relationships with those around you.
There are 6 benefits to learning Mindfulness with Bettering Youth
- Reduce worry, anxiety and distress
- Create a sense of calm
- Learn how to relax and regulate emotions
- Improve concentration and increased productivity
- Develop a sense of empathy and connectedness
- Enjoy better health and sleep.
Curious about bringing Mindfulness to your family?