To Dr. Amisha Jha, of the University of Miami, the mind is like a time travel Mp3 player:
Press ‘Rewind’ and it goes back in time to recall and replay past events – sometimes over and over, again and again;
Hit “Fast-Forward and off it goes, into the future, projecting outcomes of events not even yet begun.
We are constantly using our minds to do things like rehearsing conversations we want to have, or fantasizing about many that will, wisely, never happen. We worry, creating anxiety from the internal pictures we paint about the worst outcomes. We replay failures. We hear our inner critic or inner judge commenting on everything we have done or might possibly do, or try to do.
You get the picture.
Either of hitting rewind or fast-forward can be a cool thing. Indeed, they are very cool. Reminiscing, remembering are wonderful and necessary functions for living. So, too, is using the abstract/imaginal power of the brain for projecting outcomes or strategizing plans. These are natural functions of the brain and mind. We could neither survive, nor thrive lacking either.
A problem arises when the time machine gets stuck replaying the past or rehearsing the future, or jumping from one focus of attention to the next, all at the cost of paying attention to the Present.
Watch Dr. Jha’s unique explanation of Mindfulness, and how developing and maintaining a mindfulness practice through Mindfulness Training, keeps your time machine in the “Play” mode, where we are tuned into what is ‘playing’ here and now.
We know that mindfulness training, like, MBSR, helps most people deal with everyday stressors. Dr. Jha explains how Mindfulness Training is being used to help build resilience for anyone exposed to extreme stressors. Her work has been focusing on Military personnel and their families, First and Disaster Responders, Teachers, Disaster Victims.
Building resilience in an increasingly chaotic world, is one of the main benefits of a mindfulness practice, that can be beneficial for everyone.