If there is one under-rated tool we can use to increase our happiness, positivity, and well-being dramatically, it has to be meditation.
Much like physical exercise strengthens the body, meditation strengthens the brain and improves our emotional state.
The problem is, in the hectic world we live today, we rarely get the chance to practice stillness and mindfulness. There’s always something on our minds, something that requires our immediate attention.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of being mindful, how it impacts our emotions and why utilizing this tool can be the best decision you can make.
Stillness, Mindfulness and Our Emotions
A study done by Fredrickson and her colleagues has shown us that people who practice daily meditation display more positive emotions than those who do not.
But that isn’t all. The same people who kept the habit of meditation three months after the experiment continued to build valuable life skills. The meditating group displayed more mindfulness, social support, and purpose in life.
Another paper from 2017 set out to examine the effects of meditation on our emotional wellbeing. The researchers concluded:
In the context of prior research on the mental and physical health benefits produced by subtle increases in day-to-day experiences of positive emotions, the present research points to evidence-based practices - both mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation - that can improve emotional wellbeing.
Further, a recent study examined the effects of mindfulness on emotional control and negative thoughts. The researchers pointed out:
This reduced activity in brain regions associated with emotional arousal supports the interpretation that our short mindfulness intervention had emotion-regulatory effects on the neural level.
In our study, trait mindfulness correlated negatively with neuroticism, depression and anxiety, concurring with the repeatedly reported positive relation between mindfulness and well-being.
Still, there are some limitations to research (eloquently pointed out in this paper), but the facts speak for themselves:
Practicing mindfulness and stillness, especially in the hectic world we live in today has a profound impact on our emotions, well-being, social support, life purpose, and much more.
But, how do I start to practice mindfulness?
As a beginner to mindfulness, there are probably a thousand questions in your mind.
Well, the truth is, practicing mindfulness takes time and hard work. Turning ‘off’ the overstimulated mind, even for a little, is difficult, but well worth the effort.
Mindful meditation is the practice of observing the thoughts that pass through your mind. The goal isn’t to get involved and jump down the rabbit hole, but to simply be aware of them and let them pass.
As time goes, we become much better at allowing our thoughts to pass. But, more importantly, we develop a deeper sense of what they are and how they make us feel.
In other words, we become more proficient at seeing our thoughts for what they are. In a state of stillness, we are focused, our emotions are balanced and under control.
It’s a sense of calmness that cannot fully be put into words but needs to be experienced.
The best part?
This translates to our daily lives - we become more present, calmer, happier, and more optimistic.
We Create Space for Mindfulness
Here at Lucid Vitality, we offer a QiFlow and meditation class. The class is designed to deliver an amazing grounded, mind-body experience through deep breathing and mindfulness.
As you focus on deep breathing, bouncing, and shaking, you release the tension from the body and the stress from the long day begins to feel like an experience you had a long time ago, almost as if it was a dream.
This is a great way to reduce stress and release dopamine, the feel-good hormone. It also improves appetite and elevates your mood.