Many of us have heard the term Mindfulness but what does it really mean? It is the ability to be fully present in the moment. It is a way of living, a mental state of awareness that is practiced through meditation and other training, where we calmly acknowledge and accept one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations without judgment. Mindfulness helps us become aware of unpleasant thoughts and emotions that arise because of challenging situations and gives us more of a choice in how to handle them by reacting calmly and more empathetically when faced with stress or challenges. This does not mean an absence of anger only that it allows us to respond in a thoughtful manner. Mindfulness meditation literally rewires our brain over a period of time to be more positive. Practicing meditation for 6 months will decrease the size of the “amygdala” ( part of the brain which regulates feelings of stress, anxiety, fear).

 Studies show a person practicing mindfulness experienced higher levels of happiness, patience, compassion, acceptance, and lower levels of stress, frustration and sadness. Other activities that are mindful throughout the day are, Eating, Cooking, Showering, even walking and standing. The key is to recognize the distractions throughout the day and get back to these activities with focused attention. I have practiced meditation daily for a year now on the headspace app and I strongly believe everyone should inculcate this lifestyle practice in their lives and teach children from early childhood to lead a more healthy, happy, content lifestyle.

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