Amazing Health Benefits of Mindfulness That You Must Know

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. There are some incredible health benefits of mindfulness that you must know.

“Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn.

We’re thriving in an extremely busy world – where we end up doing a hundred things (if not more!) on a daily basis! You read the newspaper while sipping your morning cup of tea, you fold the clothes while keeping a check on your kids, you fiddle through your social media feed while eating, and try to balance your work & home chores simultaneously.

Well, this isn’t just your scene – because most of us are juggling through the same things!

But while rushing through so many things, we often miss out on the little joys of life. We lose connection with our own selves and ignore the feelings of the present moment. Eventually, our actions start taking a toll on our bodies and minds, leaving us fatigued and stressed.

In order to avoid exhaustion and anxieties, we can make a little change that’ll bring a big difference to our lives – and that’s when we need to embrace mindfulness.

 

What is ‘mindfulness’?

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.” – This is an apt definition stated by Mindful Org.

In simpler words, mindfulness is essentially the practice of focusing on the present moment – bringing all our attention to the present, and accepting it without any judgment. 

As the famous monk, Thích Nhất Hạnh had said, “Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.”

benefits of mindfulness

 

Health benefits of mindfulness:

The roots of mindfulness can be found in ancient Buddhist practices, where we find it intrinsically attached to various meditation techniques that can help in bringing our focus to the present moment, without worrying about ‘what has happened in the past’ or ‘what might happen in future’.

Meditation helps us to appreciate the moment – and helps us to realize the power of now. Thus, we tend to become more mindful of life through the path of mediation, getting closer to our inner self and finding joy, without hustling through life.

Professor emeritus Jon Kabat-Zinn (founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center) demonstrated how practicing mindfulness can improve physical as well as psychological health, making positive changes in a person’s life. He advocated the use of ‘mindful mediation’ in mainstream medicine.

In 2013, there was breakthrough research at Massachusetts General Hospital, where a group of individuals suffering from generalized anxiety disorders was assigned to an 8-week group intervention with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as advocated by Prof Jon, and the results were too good to be true!

Here are some of the health benefits of being mindful that everyone should be aware of:

 

1. Mindfulness helps in anxiety and stress management.

As we already discussed, managing too much in our daily lives leads to anxiety. If we can take a step back, pause for a while and focus on doing one thing at a time – it’ll help in reducing the stress.

We’ll be more mindful of our actions that way, giving our 100% in whatever we do, rather than splitting our attention on diverse paths.

You can keep a note of the things that need to be done, take small steps in doing them, and indulge in a short break between two chores.

 

2. Mindfulness lowers blood pressure.

It has been clinically proven that those who have a more mindful approach towards life have their Blood Pressure in control than those who don’t. 

Hypertension or high blood pressure is commonly known as a ‘silent killer’, and doctors usually prescribe long-term medicines for this.

However, researchers have stated that patients with borderline high blood pressure following a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program have successfully reduced their blood pressure.

 

3. Mindfulness improves sleep.

Insomnia and sleeplessness are common in today’s date. Our mind is mostly cluttered with a lot of information, and we are always entangled in our thoughts that we can’t let go of.

Meditation can help in decluttering the mind and channeling our thoughts into actions, as and when needed. This would also help us to become more mindful of our actions.

Researchers have proved that mindfulness can immensely improve the quality of sleep by supplying us with the mental resources needed to calm down the nervous system, as we prepare to sleep.

 

4. Mindfulness reduces eating disorders.

When we are stressed, we end up consuming a lot of junk food. I’m sure you must have gulped down a tub of ice cream while crying over a heartbreak! Or binged on a pizza by yourself as you struggled with your presentation!

We tend to seek comfort from food whenever we are emotionally struggling, but once we become mindful of life, we tend to become more conscious of what we consume and start focusing on the well-being of our bodies.

 

5. Mindfulness reduces inflammation and pain.

According to a study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists, it has been observed that mindfulness meditation techniques can help in controlling chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma.

People suffering from such diseases have got adequate results from a change in lifestyle, which is almost as good as allopathic medication.

It has also been proved that most of these chronic inflammatory diseases lead to psychological stress, and once we indulge in mindfulness, we can slowly get rid of the stress as mentioned earlier.

 

It might sound extremely overwhelming, but mindfulness is all about practice. You can choose to do any task, and be mindful towards it – whether you’re making a cup of coffee or taking a shower, reading a book or working on a spreadsheet, playing with your kids, or listening to music – it can be anything, but all you have to do is, be in the moment.

Enjoy what you have chosen to do, and give all of yourself into it. Start by bringing your attention to the sensations in your body and breathe consciously.

It’ll take some time for you to get a hold of your mind and breath, but you’ll soon ace at it. Take at least 10 minutes a day for meditating, as that’s the first step towards mindful living.

We hope that you’ll soon get to embrace the goodness of living in the moment.

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