Most of us did not grow up with mindfulness prioritized as an integral part of our home, school, and social lives. We may have been taught to practice mindfulness-related virtues, such as compassion and patience, but the fundamental practice of paying open attention to our experience was likely an afterthought.
Now as adults, many of us are starting to ask questions such as, ‘What is mindfulness anyways?’ and ‘Can mindfulness change my life?’ As we dig into the ancient wisdom of this approach to life, we start to uncover the truth that mindfulness is a superpower, which has the capacity to transform our lives for the better.
The Power of Mindfulness
If you’re wondering how or why mindfulness is a superpower, it is first worth considering that mindfulness has been shown to shift various things within the body, from the wiring of our neural networks to the secretion of hormones. It might seem like a simple practice, but thanks to science we’ve been able to identify specific shifts in physiological function due to mindfulness practice.
This understanding runs contrary to what most of us were raised to believe – that to be empowered and to change our lives for the better, we must do more or attain something that we don’t already have. However, through mindfulness practice, we realize that our power arises from within. And, it is when we are able to pause, to listen, and to pay attention that we unlock these dormant powers that have been within us all along.
6 Reasons Why Mindfulness is a Superpower
To jump right into it, here are some of the reasons for declaring mindfulness a super strength:
Mindfulness rewires the brain.
The power of mindfulness is evident in the ever-growing understanding of neuroplasticity. Scientific studies related to mindfulness and neuroplasticity have shown that mindfulness practices can help to literally rewire the brain. When we practice mindfulness and its associated virtues (such as gratitude and compassion), we reaffirm those mental pathways in our brain’s networks. Overtime, this helps us to embody these virtues more deeply in our everyday lives.
Mindfulness teaches us to respond rather than react.
When we are less than mindful, we tend to react unconsciously to outside stimulus (such as the weather of the day or an unkind comment from someone at work). Through mindfulness practice, we become more aware of our emotions, our habitual responses, our beliefs, and our thought patterns. This awareness empowers us to choose how we want to respond to life’s happenings.
Mindfulness connects us to our inner peace.
When practiced continually and with commitment, mindfulness can open our eyes to the inner peace that lives beneath the waves of thoughts and emotions. It enables us to sink below or rise above the currents of the mind in order to get a new perspective. This new perspective unlocks the inner peace that has been with us all along.
Mindfulness can quiet the racing mind.
Though the goal of mindfulness is not to manipulate or forcefully change our experience, it is through practice that we discover the tools required to quiet the thinking mind with compassion and courage. In other words, mindfulness practice makes it easier for us to detach from the busyness of the mind and tune into the silence inside. Mindfulness exercises for anxiety and stress reduction can be of great benefit in this regard.
Mindfulness can help us to heal.
Mindfulness practice can help us to heal by revealing to us the parts of ourselves that are in need of love, tenderness, and care. For many, this can be a frightening process as we will sooner or later come into contact with the limiting beliefs and stories that have been negatively impacting us for too long. Because of this, care should be taken where past trauma is present. Compassion-based practices can help us to ease into this work, grounding us in self-love and patience as we deepen self-awareness.
Mindfulness can never be taken from us.
Lastly, one of the most important reasons why mindfulness is a superpower is that it is something we can hold onto through the both the good and the bad times. It is not conditional upon external circumstances, and no one can take it away from us. It is ready to work its magic regardless of what we are facing. All that mindfulness requires is our openness, our attention, and our willingness to tune into the moment as it unfolds.