If You Increase Your Awareness, Your Life Will Start to Change
Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is a promoter of mindfulness in the West, believes that if we increase our awareness, changes will come into our lives on their own. But he doesn’t just make a vague or imprecise affirmation. Instead, for years this researcher has been dedicating his life to scientifically proving something that the human experience has acknowledged for years: exploration, introspection and deep connections help us generate long-lasting changes.
According to an interview with the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, thanks to mindfulness or full consciousness, we are capable of paying attention in an active way to the present moment, without passing judgment.
Through the development of this skill, we can embrace reality. This is, in turn, curative and transformative at all levels. In fact, even a neurological transformation takes place.
Mindfulness is not just for gurus
Behind the term mindfulness there is a great amount of scientific, medical and psychological research. This research proves that this union of zen meditation and vipassana is highly beneficial for us.
Mindfulness has helped patients to control chronic pain, anxiety, panic and other types of physical and psychological grievances.
We could say that full attention manages to increase our awareness in order to achieve a change in our attitude, our perspective and ultimately our lives. They don’t tell us to fall in love with life. Instead, they tell us to accept it and experience it as it is.
This is an innovative approach. Because practically all of the Western health disciplines are focused on the elimination of the symptoms. Also, the relief of discomfort, the destruction of chaos and the necessity for “normality”.
Sustaining experience from your presence
In school, we are taught to think in order to solve. However, mindfulness seeks to have you simply live life’s experiences in order to achieve change. Additionally, the goal is to to reach further into who someone is and what their surroundings are.
The neurological changes that take place, after the appropriate training in mindfulness, are produced in regions associated with learning and memory. These areas swell or widen. Specifically, the amygdala is reinforced (remember that this is the seat of our emotions, because it is in charge of reacting in the face of threats and warning the rest of our brain).
Moreover, in the aforementioned interview, Kabat-Zinn explains that mindfulness training can result in a modification of our genes. He specifically outlines these findings:
- The genes that have to do with inflammatory processes, and therefore with cancer, are inhibited.
- The density and size of the brain, which shrinks over the years, stops doing so if one meditates.
- Neuronal connections emerge and multiply.
How can we achieve all of this through mindfulness? What is the truth that transcends this? There is no answer to this. It’s simply about trying to stop the sleepy drifting through life and starting to live while fully awake. Without doing anything or trying to change, simply by meditating and making yourself aware (something that without a doubt requires much discipline).
Thus, if we embrace the negative thoughts that sink us into a harmful spiral, we’ll prevent them from reappearing. It’s obvious that not everything in life is beautiful. We simply have to augment our awareness in order to stop encouraging these thoughts.
Because, a distracted mind is an unhappy mind. Only if we combine and gather everything into a whole will we achieve health, well-being and wisdom. Because “the cultivation of mindfulness is a radical act of sanity, love and compassion towards oneself”.