Ever feel like you’re on autopilot; like you’re trapped going through the motions of your life without really being present to enjoy any of it? Do you often find yourself overthinking or wondering if the choices and decisions you make are the right ones? Mindfulness has been touted to be something of an antidote to the pattern of chronic overthinking and dissociation some of us experience each day. Science suggests it to be not only a reliable tool to help calm anxiety and reduce stress, but also that a regular practice of mindfulness can actually alter your personality. This blog post delves into the changes you’ll notice in your life, and your connection with yourself and others, when practicing mindfulness regularly. We’ll explore mindfulness techniques and how they affect our minds, as well as examine how they can impact and shape our personalities. Ready to learn how this simple practice can give insight into some of life’s biggest dilemmas? Keep reading for a closer look at how mindfulness impacts us on some of the deepest levels or who we are.
Why is mindfulness so powerful?
The science behind mindfulness continues to prove countless benefits for its practitioners, but the details of how it specifically works to push these benefits are still being uncovered.
What we know right now about the power that mindfulness holds is that its regular practice actually changes the structure of the brain to increase neuroplasticity, that it can boost our immune system dramatically, and that it greatly reduces the impacts of depression, anxiety, and stress. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the powerhouse that mindfulness can be across life events and developmental stages. Mindfulness has also been proven to decrease the risk of depression relapse in those diagnosed with MS, decrease the need for medication to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can be a successful treatment for chronic pain and illness. There’s no doubt that mindfulness holds significant benefits and can do wonders for the ailments of what our lives currently hold.
Some researchers suggest that the power mindfulness holds is owed to the changes in brain structure that regular practice facilitates. Though there are a myriad of things happening across the mind and body during mindfulness exercises, a recent University of Minnesota study found 5 very specific changes in the brain of each regular practitioner who agreed to participate in brain imaging following mindfulness training. They found that the segments of the brain associated with self-awareness of thought/emotion, body awareness, memory, self and emotional regulation, and the overall communication between the different segments of the brain, were substantially affected in a positive way by mindfulness practices. Building out these 5 facets of inter- and intra-personal connections have been at the base of countless talk therapy approaches. Us therapists have been trying to instill these changes in our clients for decades!
Other scientific results point out the potent power of mindfulness on the physical body. And although research in this area is still building its base, the results are truly inspiring. Regular practice of mindfulness has actually shown to decrease blood pressure, heart rate, reduce epsidoes of chronic insomnia, and decrease instances of chronic headaches and even migraines. Other promising fields of research are beginning to explore how mindfulness improves occupational functionality in those with chronic pain, and how regular practice of mindfulness is correlated with a healthier Body Mass Index and achieving weight loss goals.
5 Ways Mindfulness Can Change Your Personality
As we’ve seen, mindfulness can have dramatic impacts on our minds and bodies, but science is also suggesting that it can produce a profound effect on an individual’s personality. Once you’ve found a practice that fits your life and needs, you might find yourself feeling more calm, able to manage stress and anxiety, and discharging pain patterns you’ve been stuck in. With the reclamation of your attention, time, and capacity, you might start to notice other shifts in your personality that you may not have otherwise expected.
- You no longer feel scattered and masked. By carving out this space for deep connection with yourself, you create the opportunity to explore aspects of who you are that were formerly hidden away or unheard. Not only can you surprise yourself with these rediscoveries, but there could also be whole new parts of who you are just waiting for their chance to appear on the scene.
- Your outlook on life shifts. With new components of who you are present, the way you interact with others, and the world, reorients and re-positions. You might start noticing big changes in the way you view your relationships, the work you do, and how you spend your time. You might also start feeling refreshed by and grateful for your spot in the world, or inspired to make changes in your life that you’ve always wanted to.
- Your friends start noticing the changes you’re feeling. The massive changes that mindfulness brings about are not just internal! Others will begin to notice you as a more flexible, patient, and open-minded person who doesn’t balk at the idea of navigating the curveballs that life throws at you. Your ability to navigate emotions more efficiently opens you to being recognized as a supportive, helpful, and growth-oriented person.
- You go from fighting to stay afloat to being pulled forward with ease. When you foster this deep of a connection with yourself, you no longer ignore the messages that your mind and body bring forward. So instead of fighting symptoms, hiccups at home, and to stay afloat at work, you’re given the information needed to begin thriving without all of the striving.
- Your confidence skyrockets. Moving through time and space using your own internal compass, rather than just responding to what’s happening around you, means you are trusting yourself in a whole different way. With that trust comes confidence that exudes from within, and no more need to ‘fake it until you make it’.
How to Start
As demonstrated, mindfulness is a valuable ally in working through anxiety and stress and can provide some amazing benefits for your brain and body. With the technology available to us right here right now, it’s easy to find guidance on mindfulness via online instruction, video, and written guidance. But it can be hard to discern which practices are suitable for our individual needs – trial and error may not yield the desired results either. To take your mindfulness journey further, consider consulting with an experienced professional who will help you create personalized methods tailored specifically to you and the goals you have for yourself, as well as how to move through difficult emotions, memories, or thoughts that arise during practice. Click here or use the link below to schedule a free pre-consultation to explore how you can start unleashing the benefits of mindfulness in your life.