Dr Dev Roychowdhury | Mindfulness, Mental Health, & Psychology

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a form of modern meditative technique emulated in the Western World from traditional Eastern (e.g., Buddhism and Hinduism) philosophy and practices. In the Western World, mindfulness is simply described as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is derived from the Pali word, Sati, which is one of the seven factors of enlightenment or saptabodhyanga. In the Eastern World, mindfulness is considered a way of life where it helps gain insight into the true nature of reality, especially the three characteristics that underlie all sentients beings:

impermanence (anicca)
suffering (dukkha)
non-self (anattā) ​

Mindfulness can be practiced in a number of different ways. These include:

mindfulness of the body (kāya)
mindfulness of feelings or sensations (vedanā)
mindfulness of mind or consciousness (citta)
mindfulness of mental phenomena or mental objects (dhammā)

How can Mindfulness help?

There has been an explosion of research studying the beneficial effects of mindfulness practices on a number of psychological and physiological processes. For instance, research has found that mindfulness alleviates our negativity bias by effectively turning down the reactivity of the amygdala - a part of the brain that triggers fear, both psychologically and physiologically. Practicing mindfulness helps individuals become more resilient over a period of time which then helps them to successfully manage their issues and live healthy, balanced and meaning lives.

Research on mindfulness meditation indicate that there are numerous benefits. For instance, it can help you:

✓ become more resilient

✓ relieve stress

✓ improve sleep

✓ manage depression and anxiety

✓ manage behavioural issues

✓ improve memory

✓ improve cognitive functioning

✓ improve decision making

✓ make you happier

✓ improve emotional regulation

✓ improve your breathing

✓ reduce your heart rate

✓ improve your circulation

✓ improve your immunity

✓ cope with pain

be more compassionate​​

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