Mindfulness is a skill that is practiced, just like learning to play the piano. Teaching these skills is an inherent part of guided sessions, as you will eventually learn how to bring yourself into a mindful state and recognize when it happens automatically. There are unique benefits that come from both individual and guided practice, and for some people it just boils down to a preference.
For a quick overview of mindfulness and it's health benefits, view this short video:
This video illustrates how mindfulness works, however, often people have difficulty actually sitting down to practice. This is where guided mindfulness meditation sessions come in. The convenience and supportive nature of this format is what typically brings people to Connection Point and other comparable services.
Mindfulness is an ancient practice that calms the mind, body and spirit. Today it is possible to measure the transformative powers that mindfulness and meditation has on the brain.
Science is beginning to show how mindfulness helps us re-shape our interior landscape to bring us more joy, fulfillment and overall happiness in life.
New neural pathways are formed in the brain as a direct result of practicing mindfulness. Watch the video below to get a sense of what is meant by the neural pathways and brain activity that is enhanced through mindfulness and meditation.
Paying attention with a curious mind is a way of being. It gives us permission to step away from the world of expectations and constantly doing something, into a world that we choose to create. Here, we don't have to do anything, we just exist in the present moment.
Studies in psychology and neuroscience are beginning to show how mindfulness helps us re-structure our brains.
Most of us have heard of the Fight / Flight / Freeze response. The amygdala is the part of our brain responsible for this response.
What is exciting about the emerging research is that, as a result of intentional mindfulness practice, the amygdala can be calmed with greater ease. This means you can have greater control over how you respond to the world around you. Managing stressful situations is something that everyone will have to do at some point in their life. Our biological response to stress and threats may be inescapable, however, practicing mindfulness can help us navigate these situations and their consequences with acceptance, and eventual growth.
Mindfulness increases our left to right brain activity. The right and left sides of our brains focus on different skills which, when combined, help us to be logical and creative, orderly and carefree. Just like physical exercise, working on both sides of the brain enables them to sharpen and coordinate.
The most encouraging thing about the research in mindfulness practice is that when we allow our minds to enter this state of mindful awareness we are, according to Dr. Marian C. Diamond, professor of biology at the University of California-Berkeley, forming the "hardware of intelligence". When we make links between our knowledge and experience, we are stimulating nerve cells to form dendrites, which art basically structures in the brain that receive and send messages.
All this is to say that mindfulness and meditation is healing and growth stimulating.