Benefits of mindfulness.
I have been practicing mindfulness for two years and love my time each morning that I dedicate to this practice. It is something that I really encourage my clients to engage with too. The scientific evidence has been supporting the benefits of mindfulness since Jon Kabat Zinn made it more popular in the 1970s. He used mindfulness with patients in his chronic pain clinics and saw immense benefits for them. Even a simple google search brings up studies from Harvard, Forbes and positive psychology.com.
In recent decades, researchers have been gaining insight into the benefits of practicing this ancient tradition. By studying more secular versions of mindfulness meditation, they’ve found that learning to pay attention to our current experiences and accept them without judgment might indeed help us to be happier. Studies to date suggest that mindfulness affects many aspects of our psychological well-being -
- improving our mood
- increasing positive emotions
- decreasing anxiety
- emotional reactivity
- job burnout
It also helps to improve sleep by
- improving relaxation
- affects the autonomic nervous system, which impacts awakening
- increases production of the sleep hormone melatonin
- increases serotonin, which is released in the body before melatonin and helps regulate sleep-wake cycling
- reduces heart rate
- decreases blood pressure
- affects areas of the brain that control sleep.
- Lowers your stress levels
- Decreases loneliness in older people
- Increases your attention span which is excellent if you are a student studying at school or University.
- Mange chronic health conditions.
- Helps to prevent relapse with depression
- Reduces anxiety
I can’t cover all the benefits in their full details because there are so many.
And in case you are not sure what it entails mindfulness is about purposefully and fully leaning into the present moment: sounds, sensations, and your internal self. Meditation is a tool for that awareness practice.
Together, mindfulness and meditation can help reduce anxiety, body fat, chronic medical condition symptoms, depression relapse, dementia, loneliness, negative sentiments, and stress levels. Mindfulness meditation can also improve attention span, sleep, positivity, and overall peace of mind.
The practice is easy to implement and requires no accessories. It very well may be the single best supplement to your mind-body restoration. There are amazing apps you can use like Calm and headspace, which are two that I used to get me started in my practice. I use these less now as I like silence and using my own techniques.