Mindfulness is a process whereby we endeavour to be aware of the present moment in a kind nonjudgmental way. This is so different from the way we often practice our lives where we are often ruminating on the past or worrying and planning our future.
There is formal mindfulness which is one or other form of meditation, done for a certain amount of time each day and informal mindfulness which is a way of practicing mindfulness in our everyday activities such as walking and eating.
It is a form of mind training which has been around for thousands of years but more recently has been embraced by modern medicine as a successful way not only to manage your life but also to help improve you concentration at work and school, improve relationships, and assist with many of the psychological illnesses that affect us such as anxiety and depression.
The exciting concept of neuroplasticity has offered us some explanation for how these techniques can have such a positive effect. Neuroimaging has been able to show actual changes to the brain when the meditation of mindfulness is practiced regularly.
The anxiety centre (The Amygdala) actually gets smaller and the memory and happiness centres (the Hippocampus and Left Prefrontal Cortex respectively) get bigger.
There a number of people teaching this around Euroa. Ask your doctor and he/she can point you in the right direction!
Written by Dr Malcomn Altson
Seven’s Creek Park, Euroa