So, you can call me a hippy or whatever you like, but I am really drawn to this concept of mindfulness. I have always had an affinity for the “alternative,” but this is becoming more and more mainstream.
According to Wikipedia, mindfulness is “calm awareness of one’s body functions, feelings, content of consciousness, or consciousness itself.” I like that; such a simple explanation for an act that is incredibly difficult to achieve. If you have ever tried meditation, then you know what “monkey mind” is and how hard it can be to take control of your thoughts, to not swing wildly from mental tangent branch to mental tangent branch. With mindfulness, I find that thinking comes more easily- smooth, controlled thoughts in coherent, calm order. The same goes for speaking, sleeping and keeping my reactions and interactions in check. But for me, these benefits are fleeting if not practiced regularly.
So, one small component of my intentions behind beginning this blog is accountability: I am hoping that, in posting, I may actually follow through with whatever it is that I am blathering about at the moment. Therefore, I am trying to spend more time reining in my thoughts and focusing on the present. I believe that the benefits are more than simply gaining a better understanding of yourself. If you can imagine the chain reaction (and be thankful that I don’t know how to post a flow chart on my blog yet, as I would attempt to demonstrate!) that stems from calm awareness of self, it flows into everyone and everything around you. The health benefits of transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation continue to be studied. So far, the results are very intriguing! Brain scans of those who consistently meditate show increases in gray matter in the areas responsible for decision-making, memory storage, language processing and communication, visual perception and more. So cool!
Anyway, another reason for my interest in blogging is being able to pass along interesting information to friends, family, and strangers, alike. Below is an article that a former coworker sent to me. We are both interested in the role of optimism and positivity in health decisions and health outcomes, so she sent this my way: Thanks Hillary! I hope that it is useful…enjoy!
Please feel free to comment and add your opinions or tidbits of information to the blogosphere!