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What Happens In The Moment?

What Happens to the Mind and Body When You Live in the NOW

Since the word ‘Practice’ is often associated with mindfulness—or Right Here Right Now living—it sounds like something that’s difficult and takes a lot of time and effort to master. The good news is that in your very first moments of mindfulness practice, you’ll have immediate results that benefit your body and your mind.

The Heart Rate Decreases
According to Harvard Medical Schools, when we calm ourselves with in the NOW thought—causing a relaxation response—not only does our heart rate decrease in the moment, but ongoing mindfulness practice can lower resting—and active—heart rates over time.

Why is this important?
Each pulse of blood stresses, although mildly, the artery walls—so the faster the heart beats, the more stress there is on the heart. In addition, when the heart beats faster, the coronary arteries have less time to fill with blood where it provides the cells of the heart with needed oxygen.

Cortisol Levels Decrease
The journal of Health Psychology published a study that link in the NOW thinking to decreased levels of cortisol in the moment of practice and overtime.

Why is this important?
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that’s released in response to stress or fear—it’s a component of the fight-or-flight response. Cortisol has benefits, including blood pressure regulation and boosting the immune system, but cortisol levels that are too high can lead to a long list of negative consequences for the mind and body—lower bone density, increased weight gain, depression, learning and memory difficulties, and lower life expectancy to name a few.

Connections in the Brain are Strengthened
The moment the practice of in the NOW thinking begins, cells start to communicate with other cells in the brain.

Why is this Important?
Modern technology that’s given us EEGs, PET scans, and MRIs has revealed volumes about how the brain develops and declines. Neuroplasticity is the ability to change the cells that communicate with other cells in the brain—these connections can be detected with brain scans. Studies show that brain function can improve overtime, even for older adults. The more that brain cells communicate, the better they get at it—when the connections between cells improves, the brains’ function becomes more efficient.

Body Awareness
When the mind is calmed and focus is directed to sensations in the body, a person becomes immediately aware of how the body feels and how it reacts to the environment and the mind.

Why is this important?
Body Awareness not only keeps thoughts in the NOW, but offers information that can be used to guide action for maximum health, productivity, and longevity. People who’ve developed body awareness are less clumsy, have knowledge of food sensitivities, communicate better with healthcare professionals, and communicate what they want more accurately with their body language.

Self Awareness
During Right Here Right Now moments, you can immediately begin to become aware of your mind’s activity—you can then observe how it reacts to others, the environment, and past experiences.

Why is this important?
People who are self-aware have a more accurate understanding of their beliefs, motivations, and responses that effect the way they relate to the people and world around them. This can lead to more compassion, increased rationality in behavior, and acceptance of self and others.

Self-awareness can also lead to reality-acceptance—mindfulness practice isn’t about being happy all the time and liking what’s happening—it’s about being aware of the reality in the present moment. The journal of Psychological Science shows blind spots that magnify individual weaknesses can be overcome through in the Now thought practices.

People who are self-aware have a greater ability to solve problems and control their thoughts and actions, leading to the ability to achieve goals and live their desired life.

Tools for Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness—Right Here Right Now—practice is doing things that keep the mind focused in the NOW—noticing your thoughts, emotional, and physical feelings, and the sensory and relational experiences that are in the present moment, help to keep focus off of negativity and worry that come with past and future thoughts.

At RHRN we use The Bump to keep us Right Here Right Now. The Bump is the RHRN in the NOW symbol that gently gives us a nudge when we allow our mind to wander to the past or future. We’ve placed this symbol on lots of cool stuff so that we’ll see it and be reminded to live in the NOW.


~ Cynthia Cartier