So, I just recently began being trained in BBMT. For all of you non-psychology people that means Breathing-Based Mindfulness Therapy. Mindfulness is based on the idea that a person should address life from moment-to-moment. He or she lives in the moment and should not worry about past or future issues or feelings. Even though I’m new to this therapy I believe in it whole-heartedly. I've learned a lot about it in class, and even heard anecdotes from my mother (PharmD) on the positive health impacts she's seen and read about. I noticed I already instill a lot of the therapy aspects in my own life, but immediately began regular meditation and breathing upon therapy training.
Mindfulness has proven to help decrease anxiety, depression, and have a positive effects on many illnesses, including cancer treatment. Anxiety can have a detrimental effect on your heart rate in which it becomes increasingly variable. This means you lack a consistent and constant resting heart rate. Breathing-Based Mindfulness helps decrease heart rate variability as to allow for a healthier and more consistent heart rate. It is also thought that telomeres, which have been found to decrease with life continuation, can be rebuilt with consistent mindfulness. Lastly, melatonin, the kind only your mind can produce and is not found even in the pill form, can be produced through these practices. These findings led to the hypothesis that life longevity can be extended with proper mindfulness and meditation. If you think about it and consider that monks, individuals who own and possess no material possessions but do consistent mindfulness and meditation practices, were proven to be the #1 happiest population of people in the world you can tell how powerful being in the “now” really is.
Aside from the health benefits of mindfulness, there is a freeing of the mind facet to this practice. There is no judgment. There is no stress. There is nothing, but the here and the now. You let your thoughts and emotions flow freely without becoming attached to them. The practice recognizes that everyone encounters negative emotions and thoughts, but you don’t allow those thoughts to stick with you outside of that moment. You address them in the moment and let them flow freely away.
Along with mindfulness and breathing exercises I also believe in the reframing of negative thoughts. Conventional mindfulness practices are not connected to positive or negative influences, but one of the PIs (Principal Investigator) on my study brought to my attention the importance of positive psychology. It’s not only important to recognize emotions and thoughts in the moment and let them pass, but reframe the thought entirely. If you can take a negative feeling or emotion and learn to look at it with gratitude that can completely change your outlook on the world. Instead of looking at life in terms of what you don’t have you can learn to look at it in terms of what you can learn, what life has to offer you, and what’s positive in the life you currently live.
Take a moment to think on this short synopsis of mindfulness, breathing, meditation, and positive psychology and see if it’s something you could use in your every day life. If so, I would be more than happy to share more knowledge and insight into what it means to be truly mindful, provide literature, and share any obstacles I’ve encountered so far!
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