We need the benefits of mindfulness in our daily lives. Our lives are becoming busier than ever before, and with so much to do it’s not a wonder that some of us lose connection with our present moment. Mindfulness, the practice of focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment, can help you a lot in the stressful, fast-paced life you are living. Mindfulness is mostly associated with Buddhism, but there are different religions out there that have some kind of meditation technique that is meant to help you focus and appreciate your present moment.
Lots of professionals and professors have proved that practicing mindfulness has great physical and psychological benefits that can bring about positive changes in one’s behaviors, health, and attitude. And there are more professional mindfulness courses online than ever before.
What are the main benefits of mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a topic that is still under some science examination to reveal and confirm the various benefits that it has in our lives. However, there are some benefits that have already been scientifically proven and also experienced by those who practice it. Some of the main benefits of mindfulness include:
It improves wellbeing
One of the benefits of mindfulness is that its practice allows you to focus on the different attitudes that lead to a more satisfying life. You get to enjoy the tiniest pleasures of life and you’re also able to focus on activities while finding it easier to effectively deal with adverse events.
By focusing on your present, you are not bothered by the uncertainties of the future or regrets of your past. You also don’t spend most of your energy and time thinking about self-esteem and success, giving you a chance to connect better with others and become a better person.
Mindfulness enhances mental health
Psychotherapists have already discovered the usefulness of mindfulness techniques in the treatment of a number of mental issues. Some of the mental health problems that can be solved just by practicing mindfulness include anxiety disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, and couples’ conflicts.
It enhances our physical health
Greater well-being and better mental health are so important in your life, but the benefits of mindfulness doesn’t stop at that. Scientists have managed to prove that practicing mindfulness has a positive impact on your physical health.
Focusing on the practice is beneficial in relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, reducing chronic pain, treating heart disease, and alleviating gastrointestinal issues.
How Mindfulness Works
Mindfulness is believed to work using one major technique—helping those who use it to accept their experiences instead of trying to deny what they are going through. This is very important especially when one is dealing with painful emotions and awful experiences.
Mindfulness is often used with psychotherapy, mostly cognitive behavioral therapy, considering that the practices have a common goal of helping you understand maladaptive, self-defeating, and irrational thoughts.
Techniques used when practicing mindfulness
One thing you need to understand is that all mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation. These techniques are geared towards making you achieve alertness and relaxation by helping you focus on current thoughts and sensations with less judgment. The main techniques of mindfulness include:
Basic mindfulness meditation
For this, you should sit quietly and pay attention to your natural breathing or on a mantra of your choice. The main trick here is to let thoughts come and go without judging them, and then return your focus on the mantra or breath.
Notice different senses such as sounds, touches, smells, sights, and tastes. You should then name them, “Sound”, “Touch”, “Smell”, “Sight”, “Taste”, and then let them go without any judgment.
The main idea here is to cope with different cravings—whether behavioral or use of addictive substances—and allowing them to pass. Pay attention to how your body feels as the craving enters and as it leaves. You should then replace your wish for the craving to leave with the assurance that it will certainly subside.
Pay attention to subtle sensations such as an itch or tingling sensation on different parts of your body and then let them pass without judgment. You have to pay attention to all the noticeable parts of your body in succession from head to toe.
The main objective of this technique is to experience emotions without judgment. You will want to name emotions in a steady and relaxed way, using names such as “Joy”, “Frustration”, and others. You should then accept that the emotions are present and then let them go without any judgment.
Mindfulness Meditation and other practices
You can achieve the benefits mindfulness through a special type of meditation known as mindfulness meditation, which allows you to focus on your attention. It’s not so complicated, given that you can learn to meditate on your own while following instructions from books or from audios and videos.
You may also want to take advantage of the support from an instructor or group, as you will stay motivated and also get answers to any questions that you may have. While looking for someone to support you in mindfulness meditation, go for someone who practices meditation in a way that is in line with your goals and beliefs.
In the event that you have a medical issue, you may want to go for a medical-related program that utilizes meditation. You can always get advice from your physician or experts from a hospital about such programs and local groups that facilitate the programs.
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