I have had a few people ask me about mindfulness lately, so I thought it would be a good topic for my next blog post. It really ties in with my ‘Good Enough’ philosophy.
So, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is really all about awareness. It’s about approaching situations with openness, curiosity and acceptance, instead of being caught up in other thoughts. Think of it as purposefully paying attention, to be able to fully engage and connect with ourselves, but also with those that we care about.
Being able to approach situations with an open mind can help us increase our resilience, to be able to accept our constantly changing experiences of then present moment. It can enhance awareness, and help us let go of that thinking that increases our stress response, or our anxiety.
Mindfulness can help us disengage from anxiety and depression, but it also can literally change our brain function. Allowing us greater self-awareness, less stress and greater self-compassion (think back to my ‘good enough’ philosophy).
When we have mindfulness, and we are not weighed down with maladaptive thought processes, it frees us up to have a more fulfilling life. Experiences become inherently pleasant. Things like eating (I’ll do another post on mindful eating another time!), sex, even listening to music. It helps us be fully in the moment, thinking of nothing else but exactly what we are doing.
This, in turn, strengthens our relationships, and decreases our emotional contagion. What do I mean by that? Our brains are amazing. We have what are called ‘Mirror Neurons’ these mirror neurons fire when we observe someone else performing an action, such as taking a drink. We can also emotionally feed off other people in our immediate circle. Like, when you’re with a group of friends, if one of you starts to laugh, chances are the rest of you will all join in, it’s contagious. Well, fear, anger, shame, sadness – these are all contagious too. Being able to stay in the present moment, allows us some buffer from this contagion. It frees us up to be able to be less reactive.
How are Neurofeedback and Mindfulness linked? They are intrinsically linked. Neurofeedback helps us let go. It helps to free us up from our past life experiences, so we can be fully in the present. Lets us be able to take charge of our lives, once we are no longer ‘hung up’ on our past experiences, we are free to be fully immersed in our present.