On more than one occasion, I’ve written about the benefits of mindfulness training. Well, I’m writing again. I’m writing again because I just can’t emphasize enough how much mindfulness training can do for you. I’m hoping that after reading this short post you’ll be inspired to experiment with mindfulness in your life. Just do it.
According to the most recent research, mindfulness training can help to:
- Lower stress and reduce anxiety
- Increase self-awareness
- Protect against depression
- Boost your immune system
- Help you sleep better
- Lower your blood pressure
- Improve cognition
- Reduce internal distractions
In addition, consistent mindfulness can actually change the structure of your brain. You can create new, positive, powerful brain circuits through mindfulness. The most current neuroscience tells us that we can actually increase the density of our brain’s grey matter through mindfulness.
So, how do you reap these benefits? Again, research tells us that you can begin to see these benefits by engaging in mindfulness for as little as 10 minutes a day. Now, I don’t mean 10 minutes a day once or twice a month – I mean 10 minutes a day, just about every day. Think about it like brushing your teeth. Every. Single. Day.
In a way our brain is like a muscle. Just as our muscles benefit from consistent, daily exercise, our brains benefit from consistent mindfulness training. Yet, I can hear you thinking, “But, you don’t understand; I just don’t have even 10 minutes a day.” I recall what I once heard Deepak Chopra say: “If you think you don’t have 10 minutes a day to engage in mindfulness, then you need to do it for 20 minutes a day!”
All kidding aside, if 10 minutes feels overwhelming, start with five. But start. Just do it. Just experiment with it. Just try it. There are many resources out there to help you get started. My favorite is Headspace. You can try out Headspace for free for 10 days. Take another look at that list of benefits above. Wouldn’t just one or two of those benefits be worth 10 minutes of your time?
Below are two of my favorite resources to get you started. If you decide to give it a shot, I’d love to hear your story.
Meditations to Change Your Brain: Rewire Your Neural Pathways to Transform Your Life, Rick Hanson, Ph.D. and Rick Mendius, M.D.
The Anxious Lawyer: An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation, Jeena Cho and Karen Gifford