By Chas Gant MD, PhD
Mindfulness is a separate faculty of consciousness totally distinct from cognition (thinking), emotion (feelings), intuition or sensory awareness (the 5 senses). Mindfulness is not about Mystical Religions, awareness or meditation, although many religious and spiritual paths make use of mindfulness techniques. Many therapies and psychotherapies are becoming “mindfulness-based” as it is discovered that all healing methodologies get better results if mindfulness is adjunctively applied. Mindfulness techniques are primarily taught to improve emotional stability, to manage stress, to expand ones intelligence, to become more productive and to lead a more joyful and meaningful life.
Scientific studies have proven that mindfulness involves about 1/5th of the brain, the frontal lobes, as well as other associated structures. Like other skills, such as intellectual, musical or athletic, which are associated with the development of other brain regions, mindfulness can be practiced and improved over time. Educational psychologists are studying mindfulness and devising methods to teach children how to practice and develop this skill. Mindfulness training is being introduced into school curricula around the USA. Future generations will someday be trained to use their whole brain and not just 80% of it.
Mindfulness can be applied to all areas of your life. Listed below are three important life experiences which invite us to be more present and which, if regularly practiced, are guaranteed to get positive results.