Have you ever eaten a mandarin? Before giving an affirmative answer to this obvious question, we would like you to think about if you have ever really eaten a mandarin. Have you felt its soft and wrinkled peel with your fingertips imagining the round and suggestive structure of the coverage? Have you ever pound your nails vigorously to open it, perceiving its citric aroma coming from the heart of the fruit and travelling in the air to reach your nose? Have you ever observed how each section is recovered by a weak membrane that draws geometric figures that seem to be the stalactites of a cave? Have you felt how, when you bite one of these sections, your mouth is invaded by an acid and sweet stream that quenches your thrust? Have you ever eaten a mandarin paying full attention to what are you doing?
This type of meditation assures a significant improvement of life quality
The idea of ‘full attention’ (known in Phycology, Pedagogy and Nutrition as ‘mindfulness’) contains ancient Buddhist meditation practices about the conscience of the present moment. Thirty years ago, the New Yorker doctor and professor Jon Kabat-Zin started to include these practices in the therapies used to treat those patients with anxiety and chronic pain problems. Since then, mindfulness has become a magic principle that promises to reduce stress, improve interpersonal relationships and even, to increase the libido. This type of meditation assures a significant improvement of life quality.
In social network and multitasking era where people are not able to support more than seven minutes without checking their self-phone, this trend has experienced such apogee that a search about ‘mindfulness’ in Amazon reaches 37,722 results. Last September, the premiere of Lost in Thought took place in London, the first full conscience opera that combines arias and yoga positions. Indeed, nowadays it is possible to download more than one hundred apps that include different relaxation and meditation techniques inspired in the research of Kabat-Zin. Camilo Hidalgo, manager of human development at Mindfulness Consulting, states: ‘In order to understand what mindfulness is, first we have to understand that we live in an accelerated world governed by technology. Consequently, we have lost the capacity to stop and pay attention to what we are doing, thinking and feeling what we are doing at that precise moment’.
Among the multiple benefits that the mindfulness may constitute for our mind, we found the increase of creativity, concentration, assertive decisions and mood. Nevertheless, physical improvement has been also identified
Many mindfulness mediations are assembled from four pillars: body conscience, own self conscience, emotions management and attention management. The exercises can be done at any time without adopting any contortionist posture. It searches the person to be conscious of what is happening at the present moment. For instance, focusing only on the way that the water flows over the hands while doing the washing up or sitting in silence a couple of minutes in order to feel how the air goes in and out the body. Thanks to this simple mind training, those people who practice mindfulness will be able to observe their thoughts, feelings and emotions from the distance and take a pause before reacting in a conflictive or anxious way in a stressing context.
Among the multiple benefits that the mindfulness may constitute for our mind, we found the increase of creativity, concentration, assertive decisions and mood. Nevertheless, physical improvement has been also identified.
According to a study of Beth Israel Deaconess medical center from Boston, these positive changes could be associated to the deceleration of some degenerative cognitive diseases, such as, Alzheimer or senility. In addition, according to a research of Montreal University, mindfulness practitioners could reduce physical pain perception to the half, being a recommendable method for those patients with arthritis or chronic disease.
So, it seems clear. Next time that you are doing any tedious task, take a break to think what are you doing in that moment, instead of worrying or getting nervous. Take a deep breath and feel how your body relaxes, training in the meantime your mind to enjoy the present.