2018 was the year in which I first learned about the term Mindfulness and wondered what it is.
And thus started my search for this concept, which was gaining momentum, while the world on the other end shutting down due to the global pandemic.
I read concepts, books, articles, and blogs, watched videos, practiced guided mediations, and to some extent understood the healing effect, especially for a stressful or anxious mind, but was yet not there because I still could not believe a practice as simple as it, can be so beneficial.
How did I begin?
As a beginner in practicing mindfulness, I tried to identify a few areas of my life, where I thought I would practice it, and thus choose my five times prayer, to begin with, but very soon it backfired to such an extent that the already automatic mode I was doing my prayers became more mechanical and automatic.
Disappointed I tried practicing it while eating and walking, like a mindful eating experience or a mindful walk, this too was hijacked by my mind on a constant run of thoughts leaving me more distracted, frustrated, and disappointed.
A point came, where the moment I was trying to do things mindfully, I was all the more distracted from it.
Then one fine evening, over the weekend, while I was watching a rerun of my favorite series from my childhood times, one episode of it, brought back a flood of memories, the experience was so pleasant, “of that day, the happiness that was in it, my cousins along with me, our comments on the ongoing scene including the immense happiness of the total experience, as if it was playing right now “
In the parlance of neuroscience
My hippocampus (the brain part that stores memories) threw up all the pleasant memories of those times and I in my body was experiencing in a way reliving every bit of it, and I find myself enjoying it once again.
Imagine the power of one particular scene of an old drama series, was enough to fill me with the meanings I had associated and the pleasant experiences of the past, rebooting my brain in a healthy way.
The key reason for it was –Mindfulness – though not aware of this concept, I just realized my childhood was spent in the most mindful manner, soaking in the experiences to such a deep extent that when it was replayed by the brain, the body could experience it exactly as it was.
I became aware of how several of my most cherished memories were so filled with clarity, because I was absolutely 100% present at that moment, soaking in the experience of the day with its minute details.
The best part was, there was no second guessing involved nor any distractions or overlapping of thoughts.
To be precise; as a young child, I was practicing mindfulness in life and the activities I did.
This rerun of an old episode helped me understand the following.
- How being mindful in the moment can help the mind savor the positive experience
- How does mindfulness impact the deep limbic system of our brain in a healthy way ( especially the Hippocampus) where we store our memories
- A healthy mind can not only preserve the grey matter and memories but can protect the mind from not falling into the trap of intrusive thoughts
An anxious and stressful mind is a mind which is either dwelling in the past ruminating or is busy worried about an uncertain future.
Practicing mindfulness will not only bring a balance to the present you actually need to live in, but it will also preserve the brain energy from depleting when we stay in constant stressful states
So, commit yourself to a healthy mind and practice mindfulness.
(c) Mehnaz Amjad – 2017 -2023
About the Author ; Mehnaz Amjad, is a Life Coach and a Cognitive Behavior Therapist,
I’m on a mission to empower people with strategies and tools, they need to cope with difficult times & navigate through challenging circumstances.
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