Have you envied the wild laughter and shrill screams of a child on a swing as they climb higher and higher? Have you marveled at a dog as he focuses completely and fully on a juicy bone, chomping loudly and oblivious to the world around him? Have you enjoyed a salty breeze on your face, the warm sun on your skin and the wondrous smells of the ocean while thinking about absolutely nothing but the beauty surrounding you? If so, you have experienced the amazing wonders of mindfulness!
What is mindfulness and why should I care? According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, “Mindfulness is the awareness that arises by paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Mindfulness seems to be all the buzz these days and here is why: We all know that chronic stress is not good for our mental, spiritual or physical selves. Did you know that chronic stress can literally shrink the prefrontal cortex area in our brains and result in a brain that is less capable of learning and memory? A brain that is more prone to anxiety and depression, according to Huffington Post Healthy Living. Do you want all the brain power you can get without feeling anxious and depressed? Research suggests that practicing mindfulness can help improve many important mental functions. Regulating emotions can improve one’s ability to sleep and generates a healthy immune system, which has greatly improved performance for those with concentration issues. Thanks to an overall better mental health, relationships benefitted greatly by bolstered empathy and insight.
If you would like to hear more from our mindfulness experts, please watch the link below and hear examples of how Wonton and ChowMein are able to use mindfulness every day to ensure they are fully present, in the moment and non-judgmental. They’re even able to use mindfulness to help them address “team” conflict, which allows them to move on peacefully after facing a major issue. Mindfulness is about increasing your enjoyment in daily life. Oh, to be as mindful as Wonton and ChowMein! That’s certainly a goal I’m working on!