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Youth Midfulness (By Breathing Minds)
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What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a way of training the mind to be present. It is a secular meditative practice, which involves paying attention to what is happening as it happens, and doing so with an attitude of kindness, acceptance, and non-judgment. As such, cultivating mindfulness results in greater self-awareness, and enables us to become more joyful, more empathic, and more resilient. We can learn to respond with greater wisdom and flexibility to difficult emotions and experiences, and learn to live with greater happiness and vitality.
The Science Behind Mindfulness
In recent years the interest in mindfulness among the scientific community has grown exponentially, with leading researchers at institutions around the world – including Oxford, Cambridge, UCLA, Stanford, and Harvard – investigating the effects of mindfulness training. This surge in interest has been driven by an ever-growing body of evidence consistently demonstrating the beneficial effects of mindfulness practice. Numerous studies now show that a daily mindfulness practice of just 30 minutes can have a profound impact on our emotional wellbeing, our physical health, our ability to cope with stress and challenges, the quality of our relationships, and even our workplace performance. Mindfulness training is able to have such an impact because our brains are changeable.
New brain scanning technologies have revealed that not only does the activity of the brain change from moment to moment but that the actual architecture of the brain itself can change. New synaptic connections can form among brain cells and new brain cells can develop in a process called neurogenesis. It is a result of this capacity for growth that mindfulness training can cause such profound changes in the brain. Consistent practice has been shown to lead to growth of key brain regions associated with emotional regulation, concentration and self-control, and reductions in grey-matter density of the amygdala – the region of the brain central to the stress response, fear and anxiety.
Learning to let go
The role of non-traditional treatments to help in recovery after brain injury is finding a more formal place in hospitals and rehabilitation centres. These treatments can include meditation, mindfulness, acupuncture, energy balance, biofeedback, and craniosacral therapy (basically, gentle manipulation of the skull and its cranial sutures to enhance the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, and release restrictions in the connective tissue that protects the brain.)