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The Art of Mindlessness – Yes, Mindlessness

· Mindfulness,Healing

Mindfulness is the art of paying attention, consciously, and deliberately. There is a huge body of research on the benefits of mindfulness. It has become a very popular practice that has been studied and reported in a number of medical journals. It has shown to have a positive impact on both health and wellness. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University reviewed 18,753 meditation studies and reported their findings in the March 2014 JAMA Internal Medicine. Their findings confirm that mindfulness meditation helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. Mindfulness has been shown to be as effective as medication in reducing depression, but without any side-effects. For the past 30 years, Jon Kabat-Zinn has shown how effective mindfulness can be in helping to alleviate chronic pain using his mindfulness-based stress reduction program.

There are many health benefits to being mindful, but there are also many benefits to not being mindful. Mindlessness, as defined by Merriam-Webster, requires very little attention or thought. I am referring to activity that doesn't require our conscious monitoring. Mindlessness is the ability to allow the mind to wander. We live in a culture that highly values left-brain, rational, conscious thinking, and often at the expense of right-brain activities. I have found that we actually need a break from all of this mindfulness so that we can simply relax and let go, and let our minds wander a little. Why? So that we can heal; so that we can feel inspired; so that we can create and use our imagination; so that we can feel, sense, and intuit. These are all right-brain activities. The right brain is about emotion, sensation, intuition and visualization. It’s creative, relational, and holistic; whereas, the left brain tends to be more rational, analytical, logical, detail-oriented, and linear.

Healing requires both the right and the left sides of the brain; however, holistic healing is actually very much a right-brain activity and relies very heavily on intuition and knowing beyond what the rational mind tells us. Albert Einstein also knew the importance of right-brain activity when he said: “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

Here are some easy ways to relax and engage in joyful mindlessness. Give yourself a break and have fun doing it. The idea is to let your mind wander and just enjoy being in the moment.

1. Sing, play or listen to music.
2. Play a fun mobile phone game that doesn’t require too much thought.
3. Be playful and laugh more often.
4. Walk, dance, ride a bike.
5. Experience something without judging it.
6. Just relax. Do things that are relaxing like rub your feet or massage your scalp.
7. Visualize being on a lovely beach enjoying yourself.
8. On the spur of the moment, rather than using a thought-out typical meal or recipe, make something to eat.

Copyright © 2016. Sylvia Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

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