Why is Mindfulness important?
Stress has become the new normal in our workplace and life, especially in such uncertain times. It's so prevalent that we don't even notice its impact on us. Chronic stress greatly impacts us; it suppresses our immune system and is a leading cause of heart disease. Stress reduces creativity and kills inspiration and productivity. Did you know that most stress is not caused by external events? It's actually caused by our mind's way of interpreting what is happening around us. It's not all doom and gloom, you can arm yourself with the tools to change this.
Mindfulness practice helps us notice the negative bias that our mind has. Instead of reacting to external events through our amygdala, (the fight or flight centre of our brain), we can respond more calmly through our prefrontal cortex. That's the rational thinking part of our brain. Mindfulness practice actually changes our brain's physiology, so our brain is less susceptible to being hijacked. MRI scans show that after eight weeks of mindfulness practice, the amygdala actually shrinks in size. As the amygdala shrinks, the prefrontal cortex gets bigger. As you continue to practice, you lower your reactivity to stress and improve your ability to handle stressful situations. Your practice lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and in fact, research shows that just three days of training can even have an impact. With mindfulness practice, we breathe deeply to relax and release tension from the body. We also focus our attention. This slows down the pace of thoughts that can be overwhelming. This creates a space so you can have more choice to respond rather than react.
Give yourself some TLC, practice mindfulness, brew a cup of Me Tea and give yourself some time for you again. You deserve it.
Check out our other blog post for a mindfulness exercise so you can practice some me time.