Mindfulness is something many people are adopting in a bid to lead a more open-minded, calm and thoughtful life. Many people have pre-conceived expectations of what mindfulness is and what it can do, leaving many dismissive. Here we share ten things that may surprise you about practising mindfulness.
Anyone can do it
Anyone can be mindful. It doesn’t lend itself to a specific age or gender; this means anyone can practise it. Even you!
It’s not just about relaxation
Mindfulness teaches us how to be aware of our surroundings and what is going on in our lives. It’s not a tool used with relaxation in mind, rather a tool to help build awareness in everyday life.
It takes time to learn
Whilst many think mindfulness is something you can easily pick up, in order to master it properly it will take time to learn. However, with regular practise you can quickly improve, just like exercising a muscle, and you only need to spend around ten minutes a day practising.
It increases awareness
The more you practise mindfulness, the more aware you will become. Developing your awareness means you will react less, miss fewer opportunities and become more understanding of the people and the world around you. What entrepreneur doesn’t want that?
It boosts creativity
Mindfulness has proven to support both divergent and convergent thinking (coming up with ideas and solidifying those concepts); perfect for those in creative fields.
Helps manage pain
Studies have found that 80 minutes of mindful meditation can help cut pain perception in half. Studies have also found that people who practise mindfulness have a higher pain threshold than those who don’t practise.
Improves decision making
Due to the fact mindfulness helps clear your mind and give you new perspective, it removes any bias from your brain and can help you make decisions more clearly.
Research has found that people who are in highly stressful and emotional situations, but practise mindfulness, are more alert in the moment without being overly emotional. This means you will be able to approach things in a detached, yet thoughtful manner.
Mindfulness has also been found to provide brain activity in regions linked with empathy during and after practise.
Reduces feelings of loneliness
With just 30 minutes of mediation a day, feelings of loneliness can decrease coinciding with feelings of compassion and resilience increasing.
If you wanted to get started with mindfulness, apps such as HeadSpace are a great place to start.