How powerful is mindfulness practice? Twelve boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a cave in Thailand for over two weeks. The cave was flooded with water and the boys were in the dark. When they were rescued, all twelve boys were found sitting calmly. They had learned to meditate. Mindfulness is for everyone.
Focusing your attention on your breath is a form of mindfulness practice. Three main components of mindfulness are attention, attitude, and awareness. When we turn twenty the gray matter in our brain starts to thin, and this is associated with cognitive decline. It’s why we can have trouble remembering things or problem-solving as we get older. But if we learn simple mindfulness practices on a regular basis, our gray matter stays thicker.
Mindfulness can help keep our attention strong. Our attention is one of the most powerful tools available to us, but we aren’t taught how to strengthen it. Mindfulness practice can be thought of as training our attention to be present to what’s happening now.
The attitude that we cultivate with mindfulness is one of curiosity and kindness. We focus our attention like a spotlight and when it wanders off we bring it back without judgment. We stay curious about what’s happening in the present moment. We are kind and patient with ourselves.
With practice, our attention strengthens, as well as our kindness and patience. The focus we develop leads to awareness that helps us respectfully connect to ourselves, each other, and the larger world in a way that improves our focus and performance; leads to better choices; benefits our health; leaves us feeling happier and more at peace; improves our relationships; and keeps our gray matter thicker.
For the full story on the boys trapped in the cave click this <a href=”meditate“>link.