- ‘playfulness’ and ‘joyfulness’ in daily life (feelings of vitality)
- to be balanced
- more happiness and emotional stability
- better inter-personal relationships
- ability to cope with stress
- become aware of your own potentials
- increase one’s own flexibility
- increased creative potential
- increased self-actualization
- improved learning ability and memory
- not to be put down by vagueness and ambiguities
Mindfulness is paying attention here and now with kindness and curiosity. Examples of mindfulness practice include:
- Becoming aware of the breath;
- Noticing thoughts as they pass through the mind;
- Feeling the various physical sensations of an emotion;
- Attending to the body at rest and in motion:
- Noticing what happens in the body when there is stress;
- Paying attention to all the sounds in the room;
- Feeling the stomach rise and fall with each breath;
- Watching the thoughts that arise when there is boredom;
- Choosing to respond rather than react to stressful situations;
- Practicing sending kindness to oneself and others.
Stresses can stem from work, family, illness, or environment and can contribute to such conditions as anxiety, hypertension, depression and heart disease. How an individual perceives stresses, and how he or she handles them makes a big difference in terms of how much stress he or she experiences. The hormones and other biochemical compounds that enter our blood when we are stressed decrease during meditation techniques. These changes also stabilize over time, so that a person is actually less stressed biochemically during daily activity. This reduction of stress means less anxiety and tension. Literally dozens of studies have shown this.
Meditation techniques can help prevent or treat stress-related complaints such as anxiety, headaches as well as bone, muscle and joint problems.
Cancer and Other Chronic Illness
Meditation Ttchniques help centre people so they can figure out how they’d like to handle their illness and proceed with life.
Asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease all restrict breathing and raise fears of suffocation, which in turn makes breathing even more difficult. Studies show that when people with these respiratory conditions learn Breathing Meditation Techniques, they have fewer respiratory crises.
Recent studies suggest that Meditation Techniques balance the immune system to help the body resist disease, and there is significant data that Meditation Techniques can enhance healing.
See also the research report of the RESPONSE project (PDF file) published in 2007 and funded by the European Commission 6th Framework Programme.