Focus practice or mindfulness as it is sometimes called is now scientifically proven to increase the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for focus, planning, and memory. It also reduces the size of the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for stress. Here is a story, describing how Lovely Samantha Ruzol, first used mindfulness before she even knew what it was.
My First Encounter With Mindfulness by Lovely Samantha Ruzol
Do you ever find yourself stuck in one place? Lost and drained by all the negative thoughts in your head that you can’t focus on the things you want to achieve or fix?
Yes, I get stuck and often have negative thoughts running through my head but that’s normal.
Do you suddenly feel heavy that you want to isolate yourself from everyone including your own family?
Let me tell you a story. I once went to the sports pitch when it was empty and dark. I went in the middle of the pitch with my body laying on the ground, like it was my bed, looking up to the sky.
The stars felt so near yet so far away from my hand as I reached up towards the sky.
Have you heard of mindfulness?
I used to think that mindfulness was just like meditation, where you cross your legs and close your eyes with calming music in the background but it is not. It is more than that.
What is mindfulness?
As I did not know what mindfulness was, I did some research and one of my favourite definitions is from White Wind Zen Community.
“Mindfulness is wordless. Mindfulness is meeting the moment as it is, moment after moment after moment, wordlessly attending to our experiencing as it actually is. It is opening to not just the fragments of our lives that we like or dislike or view as important, but the whole of our experiencing”
When I was at the pitch in the dark alone with silence, I was paying attention to my feelings, trying to understand what I want to do and knowing my worth. Overall, it helped me focus.
Mindfulness has also been proven to help treat irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder as described in this article by The Harvard Gazette.
How did it help me focus?
By using mindfulness, it can help you jump in the way of all the negativities in your mind and it tells you to come back to the present moment. Advising you to understand your own feelings and fix what needs to be fixed.
A lot of things in life can get stressful, but ever since I encountered mindfulness, stress has reduced and I am able to stay calm in situations where anger strikes.