Benefits of mindfulness

Regardless of age, practicing mindfulness can benefit your life and the way you handle challenges.

When it comes to humans, research suggests the adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” simply isn’t true. Brain development research has found that connections among the 100 plus billions of neurons in the brain are plastic, meaning they can grow and develop no matter what your age. This news is positive for anyone who wants to develop and maintain health benefits, regardless of age. Research and technology are changing lives daily. One approach worth trying is mindfulness.

Mindfulness can help people manage pain, stress and emotional anxiety for optimal recovery. The basic definition of mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to the present moment without judgment. The book “Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness” by Deborah Schoeberlein provides similar definitions of mindfulness:

  • Being present with and to your inner experience as well as your outer environment, including other people.
  • Mindfulness involves allowing your thoughts, feelings and sensations to come and go as they will, not forcefully stopping them or trying not to think of them.

Schoeberlein states that mindfulness provides a practical strategy for working directly with reality. You might not be able to change certain things in your life, at work or at home, but you can change how you experience those immutable aspects of life, work and home. The more present you are to your own life, the more choices you have that influence its unfolding. Noticing and accepting without judgment before acting is the key to mindfulness.

Once people, no matter the age, become more aware, they can focus, learn and interact more positively. All people, no matter the age, should consider practicing mindfulness to enjoy its benefits. Michigan State University Extension provides a mindfulness series entitled Stress Less with Mindfulness

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