Life can be absolutely wonderful, can’t it? Filled with joy, love and happiness. Yet it also brings us suffering and pain, whether it’s emotional, psychological or physical. And at those times, the memories of the good times can so easily fade into the background?
This happens because of the way in which our brains have evolved to keep us safe. After all, if a situation is dangerous, it demands our absolute attention right here and right now. It’s no good zoning out into some nostalgic dreamy feeling of well-being. Which is why our brains naturally focus more on the bad and painful, than on the good and joyful.
But sometimes our brain's attention on our suffering can become over-emphasised, generating false alarms, amplifying pain, and over-estimating threat. This can then lead to an expectation of unhappiness, stress and anxiety, which because it is what our minds are focusing on, can become our reality.
This imbalance in our minds is exactly what mindfulness has been designed to recalibrate, leading to a renewed sense of wellbeing which research has shown to be both psychological and physical.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that mindfulness, when practised regularly can:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Reduce your sense of fear
- Promote a sense of connectedness with those around you
- Heighten your empathic skills
- Improve focus and concentration
- Boost your immune system
- Reduce your perception of pain
All of which creates a sense of emotional spaciousness, into which we can open into greater love, peace, and contentment for ourselves and others. Which, of course, provides a psychological environment in which we can grow more fully into who we were always meant to be.