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Intentionality and Health

 

Mindfulness practice allows us to develop the ability to observe and experience our thoughts, sensations, and emotions non-judgmentally, non-analytically, and with complete, unconditional acceptance.  This practice is an antidote to anxiety and depression, improves brain function, and is conducive to health and well-being.

 Along with mindfulness practice, intentionality is an effective catalyst to health and wellbeing.  In other words, it is important to set a very clear  intention to observe our thoughts, images, sensations, feelings, and emotions, without judging or analyzing them. The intentionality itself helps us to practice in a very natural, non-striving way.  

 Neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson

Dr. Rick Hanson

states that when entering a potentially stressful interpersonal interaction, the act of setting a clear intention of acceptance, openness, authenticity, and empathy serves to activate the prefrontal cortex, priming neural networks that relate to those qualities.  Setting a clear intention creates a neurophysiological milieu that makes the realization of those intentions more likely.

 There are specific behaviors that are associated with health and well-being. The following behaviors and attributes of healthy people can be developed with intentionality. Cultivate an intention to live with acceptance, mindfulness, altruism, authenticity, challenge, choice, compassion, curiosity, empathy, gratitude, meaning and purpose, and environmental mastery.  

 The simple act of setting the intention to practice something serves to activate neural networks that relate to whatever it is that we practice, making it more likely to experience the qualities of that practice. 

 In addition, intentionality, when practiced throughout the day and in every interaction creates purpose and meaning to our lives. 

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