Why Mindfulness is NOT  “Alternative”

My friend and writing partner (Jennifer Llado, SLP) and I would like to welcome you to our new blog (and soon to be released book) – Mindful Healthcare.

Our intention is to inspire other healthcare professionals (and to constantly remind ourselves) to explore the personal and professional benefits of mindfulness.

So, what exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a 2,600-year-old Buddhist tradition that is becoming increasingly popular for good reason.  It has been shown to offer profound physical, mental, and emotional healing benefits, all of which lead to improved personal and professional outcomes.

For the purpose of this blog (current and future), we are going to use mindfulness and meditation somewhat interchangeably (and together at times). They are not exactly the same thing but they go hand-in-hand, as they both involve observing your thoughts (like watching a ticker on a TV screen), and more importantly becoming aware of and sensing the space or energy that exists behind the thinking brain.

Despite the extensive research, the notion of mindfulness is grossly misunderstood and is often considered to be “alternative,” when it is arguably the most essential component to both physical and mental wellness.

Instead of thinking of mindfulness as a technique, we would encourage you to think of it as simply paying attention and being aware of the present moment. It is foundation of being “in the zone” where we feel and perform at our best. What could possibly be more important?

Understanding the science can facilitate the process of letting go and tuning into what the idea of mindfulness is really about: tapping into the energy or space in which all things exist.

In his book You are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza explains that everything physical is made of atoms.  Yet atoms are 99.999% empty space, or energy.  So, if we are not paying attention to the space, we are literally missing out on 99.999% of reality, while simultaneously creating unhealthier brain activity.

On the contrary, The Open Focus Brain illustrates how paying attention to “space” or “no-thing’ (another way of saying energy) results in more coherent, organized brain activity. In a nutshell, it keeps our energy more balanced, which is the foundation for health on all levels.

Being mindful is important in all areas of life, but perhaps even more so in healthcare because of its profound healing benefits. Yet, the stigma and or lack of understanding continue to make it appear “alternative,” when in reality mindfulness (which improves focus and energy balance) is the foundation for quality healthcare.

We are committed to providing regular blog entries, videos, and practical tips to help spread the word that there is absolutely nothing “alternative” about mindfulness – it is perhaps the most underutilized “technique” in the world. Please join us in becoming self-aware, visionary leaders by making Mindful Healthcare an integral part of your practice.

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