Not far ago I read an interesting book about mindfulness. Therefore, I have decided to write some articles about this topic to help you with using it one everyday basis. Today you will learn the benefits of mindfulness.
What Is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing all of your attention on the current moment, and accepting it without judgment. Many psychologists say that it is a great place to start if you are looking for the key element in happiness. I totally agree with the aforementioned attitude.
When done correctly, mindfulness will allow you to achieve the following goals:
- decrease your stress and anxiety,
- minimize the amount of time that you spend feeling overwhelmed,
- help you appreciate each small moment as it happens.
Mindfulness Techniques – General Overview
I will give you a general outlook on mindfulness techniques today. More detailed tips on them will be given in my next articles. There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but all these techniques have one goal. They aim to achieve a state of alerted, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. In this way, your mind is refocused on the present moment.
Basic Mindfulness Meditation
This technique involves sitting quietly and focusing on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra”. You repeat it silently. You need to allow your thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
This technique will help you to handle cravings (e.g. for addictive substances or behaviours) and allow them to pass. You need to notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Remember to replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside. It can be something absorbing, like your goals and dreams.
Just allow emotions to be present without judgment. While feeling something, practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.”, “pain”, “disgust”, “hate”, “happiness”, “love”. Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go. It is especially important in the case of negative emotions.
This technique helps you to notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. While focusing on the present moment, on all that surrounds you, name these sensory feelings “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
It is another good mindfulness technique. Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Even farting or burping. Notice each part of your body in succession from toe to head.
What Are the Benefits Of Mindfulness
The cultivation of mindfulness originates from Buddhism, but most religions include some type of prayer or meditation technique that helps you to shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective of life.
Professor emeritus Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, promoted the practice of mindfulness meditation so that the mainstream medicine can benefit from it. He also demonstrated that practising mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms. His clients also report positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviours. Now let’s check the benefits of mindfulness in detail:
It Improves Well-Being
Being mindful makes it easier to savour the pleasures in life as they occur. It also creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events and helps you become fully engaged in activities. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness notice to be less likely to get trapped in worries about the future or regrets over the past. Moreover, they are better able to form deep connections with others and are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem.
Mindfulness Improves Physical Health
Scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways in the case well, i.e. being is not enough of an incentive. Mindfulness can: help you to reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure, treat heart disease, relieve stress, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties. I will describe some of these benefits in detail.
Incenting the Ability To Deal With And Recover From Illness
While thinking of mindfulness or meditation, you probably think of a quiet, private time of peace. On the contrary, when you think of hospitals or doctors’ offices, all that you imagine is the anxiety, pain, and chaos going on around you. Now the question is: how can mindfulness have a place in health care? can assure you, it is possible.
Another study proved that mindfulness meditation has also been found to foster post-traumatic mental and emotional growth in breast cancer survivors and decrease anxiety. At the same time, these patients have increased energy and spirituality.
About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain every day, but 40% to 70% of these people are not receiving proper medical treatment. Many scientists have shown that mindfulness meditation can reduce pain without having to administer medication or use other techniques which are usually believed to reduce pain.
The self-produced opioid system has often been thought of as the central part of the brain for relieving pain without the use of medication. It self-produces three opioids, the met- and Leu-enkephalins, the beta-endorphin, and the dynorphins. All of these work together to reduce pain while practising mindfulness.
It Slows Down the Progression Of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Scientists have found that positive brain changes that are associated with mindfulness meditation help in the case of neurodegenerative diseases. These changes include the reduction of stress and anxiety. Therefore, mindfulness may work to slow the progression of age-related cognitive disorders, (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia).
Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s who participated in the study showed a lower rate of cognitive decline than a control group after the eight-week of mindfulness. They practised the stress reduction program.
In a Nutshell
Today you have learnt the idea of mindfulness, plus some major techniques. They include mindfulness meditation, working on emotions, senses or ravings. The major benefits of mindfulness include improving general well-being, pein reduction and slowing down degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.