Even when you practice mindfulness, you’ll still get stuck in traffic and you’ll still have to file your taxes. Nothing changes, and yet everything changes. The profound transformation that occurs takes place within you and this includes changes within your brain. So, how does this transformation occur? Well, practice! Establishing a regular practice, whether it’s three minutes a day or thirty minutes a day, will get you on your way to experience the changes that can happen as a result of the practice of mindfulness.
We’ve been working on sharing the 4 P’s of mindfulness over a series of four blogs. In this third installment, we take a look at the juicy details the benefits mindfulness and meditation can have on our personal lives.
The 4 P's
When we practice mindfulness and meditation regularly, we see changes in our personal lives in the following ways:
Less emotional reactivity
You don’t sweat the small stuff. A lot of our days can have us tripped up in habitual reactions to ordinary things, for example, the stress of getting organized for a meeting or finding the keys to our car. Starting a regular mindfulness practice, even if it’s for 5-minutes a day, can aid in stopping those habitually reactive cycles. Simply taking the time in a stressful situation, to breathe in and breathe out changes our nervous system instantly. Mindfulness helps us cultivate equanimity. We become aware of our triggers and learn to pause so that we may respond thoughtfully, not react habitually. This study shows, by tuning into our breath puts the breaks on constantly cycling from one activating crisis to another. Our nervous system becomes more regulated, we are in the driver’s seat, no longer the passenger on a wild ride. We literally stop sweating the small stuff.
It improves our relationships
No matter how far you’ve come in your intimate relationships, cultivating care, intimacy, and union is an ongoing process. As mindfulness is the ever-unfolding source of compassion and non-judgmental awareness of each moment, mindfulness practices and relationships go hand-in-hand. For example, mindfulness can help us navigate through tough emotions. When experiencing a strong emotion (it might feel like our muscles are tensing or tears rising), we can turn towards this feeling by taking a few deep breaths, softening the mind, and paying attention to the sensations and stories that are moving through us. After a few moments, we might try to express ourselves in a new way. It can be helpful to focus on our own needs, hopes, and desires, rather than expressing the other’s wrongdoings.
It fosters compassion
Some mindfulness teachers say that awareness and compassion are the same thing. The more aware we are of the present moment, the more in tune we are with the experiences of others, their joy and their pain. This generates compassion — a true desire that all creatures be free from suffering. We act to help others not because we know we should or because it’s what we’ve been told to do. We help others because we are aware that their pain is our pain. Our awareness becomes compassionate engagement.
Start your practice today
As shared above, mindfulness helps us move toward stronger personal relationships by teaching us to tap into the present moment. Body Techniques aims to stock your mindfulness toolkit with breathing techniques and mindfulness practices so that we all can identify the techniques that work best for us. We believe everyone can benefit from mindfulness and want to share this wellness practice with as many people as we can.
Mindfulness helps us:
Meditation gives us the tools to approach life’s challenges from a calm and centered place. When we feel better, we do better. This ripples through all areas of our life. The science behind mindfulness continues to inspire the BT team to show up daily. Stay tuned for our final look at the benefits of mindfulness as we kick off the new year; we’ll look at all the positive impact mindfulness can bring to our professional lives.
Let's get started today!
Author: Nicki Butler