Mindfulness: A Growing Trend That Can Change Your Brain
Mindfulness is exploding in popularity. Fortune 500 companies are touting mindful leadership as the next big business trend. Mobile app stores feature at least 700 apps claiming to help you be more mindful. Plus, a recent National Health survey revealed that 8% of Americans meditate regularly.
So, what is mindfulness? And why is it so popular? While the definition of mindfulness is simple— being aware of your internal state and external surroundings— the practice can be challenging. Mindful awareness is easier described than achieved, especially in the 21st century.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, from traditional seated meditation to yoga and tai chi to drinking and eating meditation. The only goal is present moment awareness without judgment. A regular mindfulness practice can reap benefits in all parts of your life.
Check out "10 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Backed by Science.” LifeHack gives the top ten reasons to start a mindfulness practice today, including enhanced creativity and better focus.
Furthermore, the Harvard Business Review recently published "Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain.” Over 20 scientific studies demonstrate that mindfulness can positively affect 8 different regions of the brain. Two benefits of mindfulness highlighted in the article are improved self-regulation and reduction in chronic stress and depression.
Just like many people say they are "too inflexible" for yoga, I often hear others say they are "too busy" or "too frazzled" to meditate. Remember, mindfulness is available to you in any state of mind. No matter how distraught or scattered your thoughts are, you can still be present with what’s going on in your mind and body. The holidays are a great time to practice slowing down and enjoying the present moment.