mindfulness and the brain
Mindful awareness is a very simple concept; it refers to an innate quality or way of being. Mindfulness as an umbrella term refers not only to a way of being but to practices and techniques to cultivate it.
The context is based on Buddhist principles of conscious awareness, wakefulness, deep engagement and connectedness to yourself, others and your surroundings. Mindful awareness embraces the Buddhist discipline which encourages focussing on the moment rather than being consumed by the difficulties of the past or anxiety over the future.
Mindful awareness is a journey which involves accesssing a way of being that allows us to be fully established in the present moment, intentionally shaping our internal focus of attention. It nurtures a process of unfolding, of allowing the mind and body to integrate, calm and settle, so that equilibrium might emerge from coming into flow with how things are, even when that is not how we would like them to be.
As sentient beings, the conscious evolution of our unfolding self allows us to access realms of the psyche that contain our highest potential; transcending the limits of individuality and connecting to all that is most meaningful for a human being. By gaining deeper insight into the human psyche, we find ways of transforming our thoughts, emotions and their underlying properties so that a wholesome and more fulfilling way can be found.
The primary objective of mindfulness is to awaken the full potential of awareness and live with positive intentionality. Intention shapes our thoughts and words, thoughts and words mold our actions and subsequently our behaviours. Behaviours sculpt our bodily expressions and our character.
Research shows that up to 80 per cent of the thoughts we produce in a day are negative. How we think and what we do changes the architecture of our brain. The brain is neither immutable nor static but is instead continuously remodelled by the lives we lead. Neuroplasticity is the ongoing remaking of brain structure and function. Neurons and neural networks in the brain change their connections and behaviour in response to new information, environment and experience.
The brain is sculpted by life and retains the imprints of an individual’s experiences and behaviours. Everything we know and remember – indeed, everything we are, our beliefs, values, personality and character – is encoded in the connections that neurons make in our brain.
Mental activity affects and enables neuroplasticity. It occurs only when the mind is in a particular mental state, one marked by attention and focus. As we make a conscious effort to adopt a different attitude, the brain circuits that possessed our old ways of thinking begin to fade. As we focus on new attitudes and intentions, and the old circuits dissolve, new circuits are created in the brain that wire in our new way of thinking so that the healthier positive attitude becomes the habit.
how elaine can help
- Cultivate your emotional intelligence
- Re-wire your brain to think better
- learn to be proactive not reactive
- Unlock your potential and live true to your self
- Focus the mind through meditation and affirmations
- Develop a positive mind and insightful awareness
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”Albert Einstein