You’ll learn how to focus better, and give your full attention to tasks. You’ll understand how your attention works and what distracts it. This may lead you to want to change the way you lead your working life in a more satisfying way. Your relationships with those closest to you will also improve as you are able to give them your full attention.
Along with more ability to concentrate, you’ll become more resilient. You’ll see how your emotions drive you, and learn strategies to regulate them in a gentle and self-compassionate way. This reduces anxiety and the reactions we perceive as stress, allowing you more flexibility to respond to what’s going on.
You’ll become more aware of your body and the world of the senses. You’ll appreciate moments of beauty and joy – music, art, playing with kids – just by becoming more comfortable in your own skin, and seeing what’s been stopping you enjoying simple pleasures.
Research has shown repeatedly and consistently, that mindfulness helps people suffering from chronic pain. (The specialists in this are Breathworks )
You see the patterns your thinking and emotions fall into, watch them playing out, and learn in small ways to break the cycles. You’ll understand yourself more and develop a sense of calm and confidence as a result.
All this from short lessons?
No – the lessons just introduce you to the possibilities, give you a taste of what is possible, and give you the tools to work with. Most of the work is about building new habits. If you’ve ever tried dieting or exercise or given up smoking, you’ll know that takes effort. Unless you’re prepared to commit to that, you won’t gain anything.
There’s a lot of research into the effects of mindfulness. Sure, there’s a lot of hype and overstatement, but some results are consistent and reliable.
- regular meditators are likely to see levels of anxiety, depression, exhaustion and irritability decrease
- meditators can reduce the sensation of physical pain and, even when pain cannot be reduced, are less likely to be distressed by it
- there is research linking mindfulness directly to improvements in the scope of working memory, attention span and reaction speeds
- there are many studies supporting the idea for people with chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia and lower back pain, mood and quality of life is enhanced by regular meditation
- meditation improves circulatory health by reducing hypertension and blood pressure
- meditation improves the immune system, reducing vulnerability to infectious diseases
- studies of the brain on meditation programmes show beneficial effects located in areas associated with self-control, self-awareness, attention, mood and learning
- mindfulness is widely used in clinical settings as treatment for depression