Getting here means you're interested in mindfulness. We assume you were not sent by the doctor or, God forbid, the judge, but you just followed your curiosity and desire to know. No one voluntarily wastes their time so tiny and precious doing something they don't like. We think you are interested in this so-called fashion, mindfulness. So, you deserve to receive an honest and straightforward explanation so that you can make an informed choice.
What is mindfulness?
What is this word that seems to be becoming more and more present in our vocabulary? Is it science or an esoteric practice born in distant Asia? What is mindfulness?
Why do people turn to mindfulness in Financial Stability?
There are different interpretations and preconceptions about mindfulness. Theorists have been interested in discovering the motivations of those who practice mindfulness to understand what makes this technique so popular lately. Questionnaires were applied in different practice groups. That's right, questionnaires that included questions with reasons intuited by researchers, which are relevant in the following categories as the most common (data taken from the course De-Mystifying Mindfulness - Leiden University):
- 45% of respondents want to discover techniques to help them reduce anxiety and stress in everyday life;
- 30% of respondents wish to you to increase their well-being and inner peace;
- 30% of respondents come on the recommendation of a person they trust;
- 5% of respondents come looking for a spiritual way to find themselves;
It is exciting to note that the number of those who turn to mindfulness for spiritual reasons, no matter how we define spirituality, is relatively small, which is very interesting if we consider the main prejudices regarding mindfulness.
Maybe now is the time to stop reading and give yourself a moment of introspection to ask yourself what you think mindfulness is. Why do you want to study mindfulness? Are you in one of the categories listed above, or do you have other motivations? We would be happy to share your vision with us with a comment below a maximum of 50 words to explain what mindfulness is to you.
How did Financial Mindfulness "appear"?
After you have done the little exercise in clarifying your motivation about mindfulness, we can move on to trying to explain the subject together. The introduction of the term into the mainstream of Western thought is attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn. The latter integrated and adapted Eastern meditation methods to the Western way of life and created his reducing stress and pain through mindfulness techniques. Also, the psychotherapists of cognitive orientation have studied and integrated into the therapeutic approach the mindfulness meditation techniques, thus observing a series of significant benefits resulting from the practice of a considerable number of clients.
We started to talk about these approaches because one of the most common prejudices related to mindfulness is the lack of a scientific basis. In an age dominated by logical-rational thinking, mindfulness meditation is seen as an esoteric, supernatural technique and lacks scientific validation. Generally, the general public believes that mindfulness will turn you into a serene monk, a fearless samurai, or a body devoid of feelings and emotions.
Fortunately, mindfulness does none of the above. You will not levitate, you will not mortify your body with a rigid discipline, nor will you navigate life impassively and inert. The answer to the question "what is mindfulness?" It's much more straightforward:
Mindfulness meditation will only make you more present in your life.
Emotions will stay in place, the pain will visit you from time to time, you will catch a cold, you will laugh, you will cry, but all this will not affect you so much because you will learn to control them.
Why is this happening?
We will explain to you, step by step, where all this comes from! Are you here with me? Because the most exciting part is coming right now.
Neuroplasticity and Mindfulness
To understand, we have to resort to the term neuroplasticity. In short, neuroplasticity defines the ability of the brain to change and evolve. MRI studies, SPECT scans, and EEGs show that mindfulness techniques influence both the brain’s structure and how it works.
We've talked enough theory, don't you think? We invite you to do an exercise together that helps you better understand.
To see how it works, please sit back and close your eyes (but after reading the exercise).
- Now imagine a green meadow;
- Visualize a person walking on that meadow (it may be someone dear to you);
- Watch what happens to the grass under his feet.
- Now, view more people walking in the meadow in different directions.
On the most used routes, what do you think will happen? Exact! The grass will dry up and perish in time. There was a green meadow, now paths have appeared in different directions.
It is how neuroplasticity works. Through repetition, paths are formed which, in the case of brain activity. Mindfulness techniques help you adjust these paths, form new ones, reinvent yourself.
Is Mindfulness a Spiritual Science or Technique? Honestly, it's a bit of both, in the sense that its effect is scientifically proven, but the explanation to the question "why does it work?" it is not entirely scientific.
One thing is for sure, practicing mindfulness can improve your overall well-being, both physically and mentally. All you have to do is learn and then experiment. If you have the curiosity to approach the practice of mindfulness as a scientific experiment, you will be able to observe its benefits, or, why not, you will be able to fight mindfulness from the perspective of the one who knows and has been there.