It might be a myth that we only use 10-20% of our brain capacity. However, reading about this myth/fact and mindfulness in an article five years ago was what made me want to start meditating. The article included a picture of an iceberg above and below water to illustrate how much more there is to tap into. Reading the article and seeing the picture – I was sold!
When you practice mindfulness meditation you train your awareness. You train to be present, to being in the now. Please note, you won’t get there by simply reading about it! Imagine you want bigger muscles in your arms. You can find books telling you what to do to get stronger arms, and get a lot of good knowledge about it, but your arm muscles won’t change before you start exercising them regularly. It is the exact same thing with your mind and awareness. You have to train your “awareness muscle” regularly in order to become more mindful and act less on automatic pilot throughout your day.
For me, one aspect of practicing mindfulness meditation is that I feel much more human. It is as though I have created space for myself for how I experience life – there is a new calmness within me. I also feel I have a closer connection to people I meet, understanding them more and judging them less. I now find that I am in life instead of racing towards the future, only brushing the surface of what life has to offer.
Here are some other benefits of mindfulness meditation when you keep on practicing:
First of all, less stress in whatever situation you are in! A calmer mind and less of the non-stop inner chatter. In addition, as you will start seeing things in a clearer way, you will also become more creative in your thinking. You will find that you have more time on your hands than before, even though you take time off to meditate 10-30 minutes a day. You will get to know yourself better as you will become truly aware of your thoughts and emotions. You may start acting in a wiser way, as you will know where you are, at any moment. You will more self-compassion and also express more compassion to people you interact with, and thus find more happiness in your life!
Also, you will get more in tune with your body and your breathing. Many of us walk through life with a head sort of separate from the rest of our body, thinking, thinking, thinking, and not realising there is so much helpful information we can get from simply listening to our body and breath. You will perhaps go back to relying more on your gut feeling. You may already have noticed how often your gut feeling is right?
If this feel tempting to you, why not have a go at mindfulness meditation?
About the author:
Annette Wiik is a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) based in Wimbledon, London. In her classes, Annette emphasizes the need to care for the spine and joints in the various yoga postures, to allow the body to move as best it can.