So now that I keep discussing about what mindfulness is and benefits of mindfulness, lets see what mindfulness is not or some of the myths about mindfulness
- Mindfulness is not simply sitting and relaxing. Oh yeah! i can see that frown – though mindfulness practices relaxes you and relieves you of physical stresses too – mindfulness is not a relaxation technique.
- Mindfulness is not taking our a separate time for practice and or in fact time taking at all – yes, during the initial days you need to tone your mind and train it to bring it to a point where you can have a balanced thought. Be in the present, make plans for your future, chew your past and make yourself comfortable to all of them. Mindfulness aims to differentiate your emotion to be positive or negative and so on.
- Mindfulness is not about focusing on a point – it is more about awareness. Mindfulness is not something that will make you suddenly into a superpower.
If you practice mindfulness regularly you can learn to turn your difficult emotions into your greatest steps to success and sources of strength.
Well, mindfulness moulds you slowly – at times you would never know the effect until the person in front of you comes about saying how soft spoken you have become, how much they have started liking your company or how suddenly you seem to have become a totally different beautiful person.
What Are The 7 Benefits Of Mindfulness
while learning my teacher course on mindfulness little did I know that I would be so overwhelmed by the benefits of mindfulness. Well to sum some of them I have clubbed them into seven benefits. I have been repeatedly impressed by some seven of these benefits from my clients who with time and practice have totally transformed.
1. Mindfulness Improves Mental And General Health
Mindfulness is a state that is characterized by introspection, openness, reflection and acceptance of oneself.
When you do physical exercises your muscles and bones get strengthened. You get into a better shape. the same is true with your mind too. As you practice mindfulness you get to organize your thoughts better and make them work. In fact things get seen better when you are mindful of what you are seeing.
“Enhanced self awareness” diminishes stress and anxiety which in turn promotes physical as well as mental health.
Recent Studies showed a strong evidence demonstrating that mindfulness is significantly correlated with positive affect, life satisfaction and overall well-being.
2. Mindfulness Improves Cognitive Development
Studies have confirmed that mindfulness based congnitive therapy has reduced social anxiety disorder and brought about positive affects due to improved awareness of daily positive events.
Cognitive development and working memory are interrelated very closely. You would have known that working memory is that memory system which helps you to temporarily store information and makes it easy to recall when necessary for processing at a future time.
With mindfulness practices you know what is happening in the present – that in itself helps you to register facts faster in your mind making your memory store better. The overall cognitive development thus exhibits in decisional processing, improvement in attention spans and reaction times too.
3. Mindfulness Reduces Anxiety
With anxiety in the raise especially because of increasing competitiveness in the world, it is become necessary for everyone to address the related implications of stress and anxiety.
In a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore – it was found that regular practice of mindfulness brought about a reduction in multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress.
Generally people with anxiety have difficulties with differentiating a worry and an actual problem and give equal importance to both. This makes them have a nagging though of discomfort which with time transcends into mental and physical pain.
Mindfulness helps in clearing your thought process. You would be able to look at a thought from outside with more depth and clarity, thus clearing your mind of any discomfort it may cause and thereby reducing anxiety.
4. Mindfulness Helps You Find Your Strengths
With regular mindfulness practice you would be able to understand yourself better.
You would exactly know what you are doing and where you are heading to. This clarity in focus will eventually boost your mental strength so that your expression becomes more balanced.
This is very important for children because with mindfulness they will slowly move towards becoming better and balanced adults with right thoughts and right focus.
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Mindfulness is related to character strengths as well. You get to excel in whatever field you are interested in. By daily practicing mindfulness you can strengthen your mental well being which directly affects your overall health.
5. Mindfulness Increases Your Happiness Quotient
I have been discussing about happiness quotient and how important it is to ones well being in an earlier post here.
Mindfulness practitioners and non practitioners were compared in a study by Davidson, Kabat-zinn et al., 2003, which conclusively proved that when you practice mindfulness regularly the brain activity and immunity increased effectively.
The happiness quotient or the measure of how happy you are is directly related to how mindful you are.
With less stress and anxiety and more power to differentiate and dissociate yourself from a situation that might hurt you – you sure are going to be a lot more happier.
6. Mindfulness Makes You More Adaptable
When you are affected by a sudden problem you generally have a tendency to worry and cripple down mentally – this situation is totally controlled by practicing mindfulness.
The power to recover from setbacks and plan a comeback is increased with regular mindfulness practice.
Since mindfulness gives you a better connection between the past, present and the future- you are able to come to terms with the exact nature of the problem, analyse it and find a solution rather than being affected by it.
This one advantage of mindfulness is of the highest value when it comes to dealing with social anxiety and depression.
7. Mindfulness Reduces Stress Reactivity
Every person has a stress reactivity threshold – some may react intensely and some little less – this depends on how well you are able to handle a situation and plan a recover strategy form the issue that is causing stress.
In fact research finding have made it clear that high amygdala activity increases when stress and anxiety increases. However it is found that with regular mindfulness practice the very size of amygdala can be shrink-ed. Thus paving way to reduce stress reactivity threshold level.
I surely have a lot more to write when it comes to benefits of mindfulness – I shall surely do so in the coming posts.
What do you think mindfulness is? Would you like to make it your lifestyle?