More than ever, if we’re to experience the gift of real presence, even as we feel the gnawing uncertainty about what lies ahead, we need to make use of our capacity for mindfulness. Creating mindful moments of presence every day is the key to accepting and coping with the challenges of life during the pandemic. Of course, being accepting doesn’t mean losing hope; it just means seeing things as they are and then being able to take action in a wise, discerning manner.
So how can you find little moments to make sure you’re aligned with your inner self, even if there’s fear or sadness or grief about the world right now? How can you keep your mind from experiencing the kind of collapse that can pull your body and sense of well-being down with it? The research is clear that once we add the three pillars of attention, awareness, and kind intention to whatever we’re doing, we’re going to be happier and healthier.
Studies show that doing formal practices to cultivate these three aspects of our mind lead to important changes in our physiology: reduced stress, enhanced immune function, improved cardiovascular well-being, diminished systemic inflammation, and optimized levels of the important enzyme telomerase, which repairs and maintains the telomere caps of our chromosomes that keep our cells healthy.
In addition, three-pillar practices lead to changes in the functioning and…