You know those nights when you’re lying in bed (for what feels like forever!) and you just cannot fall asleep? It turns out mindfulness has been found to help people quiet those thoughts that keep them awake. Mindfulness relies on the ability to focus attention on your awareness of the current moment.
The trick to mindfulness is the promotion of increased awareness of thoughts in order to promote better control over emotional responses to them. Breathing is only one of many techniques you can use in order to focus your attention and be more aware of what is currently happening. In fact, mindfulness has been shown to have an impact on the functioning of the brain in general. In addition, when practiced regularly, mindfulness also leads to a weakening in the “functional connectivity” between the amygdala and the rest of the brain and a strengthening in the “functional connectivity” among areas associated with attention and concentration.
So, next time your thoughts keep you awake, maybe consider being more mindful about what you are thinking. This entry was posted in Tips and Advice and tagged Anxiety, attention, Brain, Cognition, mindfulness, sleep on April 3, 2015 by jfreud. With practice, I feel as though mindfulness can become a great tool to help improve people’s mental processes as well as their overall health.
In simple and straightforward language, Bhante Gunaratana shares the Buddha’s teachings on mindfulness and how we can use these principles to improve our daily lives, deepen our mindfulness, and move closer to our spiritual goals.
Based on the classic Satipatthana Sutta, one of the most succinct yet rich explanations of meditation, Bhante’s presentation is nonetheless thoroughly modern.
Contemplating the Four Foundations of Mindfulness—mindfulness of the body, of feelings, of the mind, and of phenomena themselves—is recommended for all practitioners. The practice of mindfulness has been studied for use in treating all kinds of maladies, such as depression and stress as well as for use with patients suffering from physical conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, or HIV. You allow yourself to be aware of any and all thoughts, feelings, and experiences you may have in order to process them without evaluating them critically. For example, This article says that people who meditate show superior performance on tasks associated with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which deals with tasks related to self-regulation, the ability to direct attention, behavior and suppress immediate responses, and the ability to alternate strategies quickly.
So, “mindfulness practice increases one’s ability to recruit higher order, pre-frontal cortex regions in order to down-regulate lower-order brain activity,” Adrienne Taren, a researcher studying mindfulness, says. Like every other skill, it may take some practice before you start reaping the rewards from practicing mindfulness, but who knows what will happen once you’re able to focus your attention more effectively. I recently completed a mindfulness course and I found that there really are many helpful benefits. This was really well researched and in the future I will definitely try out the breathing techniques from the video you linked to and look more into mindfulness! A couple of weeks ago my biology professor had someone talk to our class about mindfulness and meditation. I use to have a lot of trouble sleeping I would try listening to soft music, doing Sudoku puzzles, changing sleeping positions but I wish I knew about mindfulness.

I am in love with the practice of yoga and mindfulness is most definitely a huge part of it. I had been practicing meditation for a while before I had moved to Virginia a few years ago and after the first time I had tried it, the sensation was amazingly calming. The Satipatthana Sutta has become the basis of all mindfulness meditation, and Bhante unveils it to the reader in his trademark “plain English” style.
Newcomers will find The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English lays a strong groundwork for mindfulness practice and gives them all they need to get started right away, and old hands will find rich subtleties and insights to help consolidate and clarify what they may have begun to see for themselves. The fight-or-flight response kicks into overdrive.Anxiety is also known for producing noticeable physical symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and digestive problems. This article asserts that it has also been found beneficial in helping with weight loss and maintaining an exercise program. In essence, it relies on the ability to focus attention and maintain enough concentration so that you can seize control of thoughts that enter your awareness (which obviously takes a lot of practice). The ruminative thinking that keeps us awake at night is a major cause of insomnia and also present in many anxiety disorders. These skills are all necessary to exercise mindfulness and you would develop them the more you practice the technique.
Its hard to believe that breathing and focusing, something that seems so simple could have such a positive effect on the mind and body. By effectively controlling certain bodily functions, it can result in some astounding results, such as the increase in performance of the anterior cingulate cortex and the increase in prefrontal cortex usage as you had mentioned previously.
I feel like this would really help if you are stressed out and need to clear your mind but just focus on what is going on in your head not the content. I love how you were not only able to be very informative about this topic but you also provided some tips on how people could practice being more mindful. This makes me think it would be wonderful for people who suffer with depression or anxiety. In General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) the symptoms become so severe that normal daily functioning becomes impossible.Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common treatment for anxiety disorders.
Always in the top 10 of the iTunes Higher Education category each episode of The Psych Files is downloaded more than 20,000 times, resulting in over 8 million downloads worldwide.A regular guest expert on the Discovery Channel series "Dark Matters," Dr.
The article also notes the technique’s usefulness in treating symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disturbances. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you will prime the neural networks required for the process of identifying and acknowledging thoughts without criticizing them.
The idea is that the ability to acknowledge thoughts in a different way, without driving yourself crazy over them, will ease anxiety (which is caused by this type of thinking). It is definitely something that everyone should try especially around finals week when we tend lose focus. It is a way to channel your thoughts into a category that is separate from the negative thoughts that are associated with anxiety and depression.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy theorizes that in anxiety disorders, the patient overestimates the danger of disruptive events in his life, and underestimates his ability to cope.

Britt is also a pioneer of how technology can be utilized in the teaching and learning process and has built a number of very popular psychology apps. Given all this, it makes sense that the technique might be effective in treating symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disturbances. In order to do this, mindfulness encourages a sort of selective attention in which you focus your attention on something such as breathing, instead of rumination.
CBT attempts to replace maladaptive thinking by examining the patient’s distorted thinking and resetting the fight-or-flight response with more reasonable, accurate ones. Early Autism Diagnoses Can Bring Earlier Intervention What's HotHow to Stop Being So Needy and Dependent Mental Health: 5 Things Alcohol Addiction Makes You Blind To 4 Annoying Things People With ADHD Do Most Popular Posts5 Signs of Covert Narcissism 19 Ways You are Emotionally Abusing Yourself Know What to Expect When You Love Someone With Bipolar Disorder Most Popular NewsJunk Food Junkies Go Healthy for Long-Term Rewards Lexapro Shown to Prevent Body Dysmorphic Disorder Relapse Ocean Views Relieve Stress What Helps Kids Thrive in Face of Adversity? By shifting the focus of your attention and being more aware of the current moment (instead of whatever thoughts are keeping you awake), you may be able to better control your emotional responses to your thoughts. With the research in your article linking meditation to improvements in brain functioning, I’m wondering what other benefits mindfulness holds that haven’t yet been discovered. I don’t practice mindfulness (other than the other week in my biology class) but I can definitely see how it can and is useful. Instead of avoiding or withdrawing from these feelings, he or she remains present and fully experiences the symptoms of anxiety. Instead of avoiding distressing thoughts, he or she opens up to them in an effort to realize and acknowledge that they are not literally true.Although it may seem counter-intuitive, fully realizing the experience of anxiety enables anxious people to release their over identification with negative thoughts. AnxietyStress Management Techniques For ADHDRecent CommentsNapoleon Nalcot: Parenthood is not about assuming the easy task. The person practices responding to disruptive thoughts, and letting these thoughts go.By remaining present in the body, they learn that the anxiety they experience is merely a reaction to perceived threats. By positively responding to threatening events instead of being reactive they can overcome an erroneous fight-or-flight response.At the University of Bergen in Norway, Vollestad, Nielsen, and Nielsen surveyed 19 studies of the effectiveness of MBTs on anxiety. They found that MBTs are associated with robust and substantial reductions of anxiety symptoms. MBTs proved as effective as CBT, and are generally less expensive.The researchers also found that MBTs are successful in reducing symptoms of depression. This is especially important since major depressive disorder affects 20 to 40 percent of people with GAD and SAD.The study finds the success of MBTs notable “given that these approaches put less emphasis on the removal of symptoms as such, and more emphasis on cultivating a different relationship to distressing thoughts, feelings, and behavioral impulses. It seems that this strategy paradoxically could lead to less distress.”In other words, a way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety is to be fully, mindfully, anxious. As anxiety reveals itself to be a misperception, symptoms will dissipate.ReferenceVollestad, Nielsen, and Nielsen (2011). Mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions for anxiety disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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