Living in the moment increases your mental and physical well-being. We show you how the many benefits of mindfulness in your life.
If seeking happiness, peace, and fulfillment, surrender to the present moment– with body, emotions, and mind. so often in our lives, we’re anywhere but in this present moment.
Even in the middle of cooking supper, going for a run or writing an email, part of our attention is trying not to forget about a phone call we promised to make or wondering why our best friend/partner was so irritable yesterday.
Or, perhaps we’re feeding our self-critical mind, saying things such as, ‘I’ll never get the job I want’, or ‘If only I was prettier, slimmer’. And while our thoughts often need further attention,
Acknowledging them (writing them down, if necessary) and returning to a state of mindfulness in the present can bring a host of mindfulness benefits.
Did you know that being mindful can ease depression and boost self-esteem? Or aid decision-making and rebuild your brain? It can help you manage chronic illness and cope with long-term pain.
it enhances relationships, helps you focus on your goals and enables you to deal with emotions better. And, you don’t need to be anywhere else than where you already are.
If you want to see the benefits of mindfulness in action, consider the behavior of cats. When the sun comes out they’ll slink over to the warmest patch of grass and bask in the pleasure of their own body.
Watch them stretch out after a nap and they’ll luxuriate in the sensation. Stroke their tummy and they’ll purr to their heart’s content; stop, and the moment is over.
You can see a similar pattern in young children at play. They’re not thinking of yesterday’s game, they’re absorbed in their current experience. If they get upset they’ll sit on your lap and cry.
Once they finish, they’ll laugh and run around. If you’re seeking happiness, peace, and fulfillment, the key is to surrender to the present moment – with your body, emotions, and mind.
A Harvard University study found that happiness wasn’t as much related to the activity you’re doing, but to your thoughts about the activity at the time – that is, you’re happiest when your mind is on what you’re doing.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
The cultivation of mindfulness has roots in Buddhism, but most religions include some type of prayer or meditation technique that helps shift your thoughts away from your usual preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life.
What is mindfulness meditation?
You’re probably familiar with the term meditation, but mindfulness is something many aren’t familiar with. When you practice mindfulness you are purposefully filling your mind with something.
You are choosing to focus on something. It could be your breathing, a phrase, a body part, or an image. The important part is that what you are focusing on is something that is going to help you relax along with calming your mind and body.
Mindfulness works because it helps you replace your stressful thoughts and anxiety with something positive. For example, if a teenager is stressed out about an upcoming test at school they may be able to think of little else.
That means they may lose sleep over it, have a more difficult time studying, and lose enjoyment in other areas of their life.
How does mindfulness work?
Some experts believe that mindfulness works, in part, by helping people to accept their experiences—including painful emotions—rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance.
It’s become increasingly common for mindfulness meditation to be combined with psychotherapy, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy.
This development makes good sense since both meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy share the common goal of helping people gain perspective on irrational, maladaptive, and self-defeating thoughts.
Getting started on your own
Some types of meditation primarily involve concentration—repeating a phrase or focusing on the sensation of breathing, allowing the parade of thoughts that inevitably arise to come and go.
Concentration meditation techniques, as well as other activities such as tai chi or yoga, can induce a well-known relaxation response, which is very valuable in reducing the body’s response to stress.
Mindfulness meditation builds upon concentration practices. Here’s how it works:
Go with the flow- In mindfulness meditation, once you establish concentration, you observe the flow of inner thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations without judging them as good or bad.
Pay attention- You also notice external sensations such as sounds, sights, and touch that make up your moment-to-moment experience. The challenge is not to latch onto a particular idea, emotion, or sensation, or to get caught in thinking about the past or the future.
Instead, you watch what comes and goes in your mind and discover which mental habits produce a feeling of well-being or suffering.
Stay with it- At times, this process may not seem relaxing at all, but over time it provides a key to greater happiness and self-awareness as you become comfortable with a wider and wider range of your experiences.
Science actually suggests that the benefits of mindfulness-based meditation can be phenomenal. Here are ten amazing benefits of mindfulness backed by science you should know about in below.
11 mindfulness books on Amazon a definitely worth a read-
- Acceptance- and Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Anxiety:–Amazon
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World– Amazon
- Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening-Amazon
- Meditation for the Love of It: Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience-Amazon
- 30-Minute Anxiety Meditation-Amazon
- Chakra Healing: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Healing Techniques that Balance the Chakras-Amazon
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living-Amazon
- Meditation: 4 Books in 1-Chakra and Reiki Healing for Beginners,-Amazon
- Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You-Amazon
- Mindfulness Therapy Games: Social Skills Game That Teaches Mindfulness for Kids,-Amazon
- Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace-Amazon
10 amazing health benefits of mindfulness.
Turn over, to discover some of the other ways mindfulness can increase your sense of well-being.
1. Love your Body.
Research shows even a brief period of meditation focusing on self-compassion – such as the loving-kindness meditation – can improve your relationship to your body. In a three-week trial,
researchers found participants who were given meditation training had a significantly greater reduction in body dissatisfaction and self-worth based on appearance, and greater gains in self-compassion and body appreciation compared with a control group.
What’s more, the improvements remained when the participants were assessed three months later.
2. Boost your brain.
When you’re under pressure at work, rather than compiling yet another to-do list that will send your stress levels soaring, take time out to meditate.
Doing just four sessions of mindfulness training has been shown to improve visual processing, working memory and executive functioning of the brain (the processes involved in managing oneself and one’s resources to achieve a goal).
A study published in Consciousness and Cognition journal gave participants an audiobook to listen to and found that the group who received mindfulness meditation training showed improved cognitive abilities, along with reduced fatigue and anxiety, when compared with the control group.
Set aside some space for mindfulness before and during your next big work project.
3. Lose that excess weight.
There’s good evidence that mindful eating strategies can have an influence on what you eat.
In particular, focusing on the sensory properties of food while eating – for example, its taste, texture, look, and smell – can stop you from reaching for high-calorie snacks later in the day.
In a review of studies on mindfulness interventions for weight loss, among eight randomized controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals, six showed significant weight loss among participants.
Other mindful strategies, such as accepting your thoughts and feelings, can help reduce the need for emotional eating, and you won’t feel you have to give up because you accept that it’s all right to slip up.
4. Banish distractions.
Do you struggle to complete work assignments on schedule? Say goodbye to distracting thoughts with meditation.
Research from Harvard Medical School shows that an eight-week mindfulness program helps to modulate the alpha rhythm in your brain.
Particularly active in cells that process sight, sound, and touch in the cortex, the brain’s outermost layer, the alpha rhythm helps to suppress distracting sensations that pull you away from the task at hand.
After they had completed their mindfulness training, participants ‘made faster and significantly more pronounced attention-based adjustments to the alpha rhythm than those in the control group,’ say the researchers.
5. Lift depression.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) includes mindfulness exercises, yoga, body awareness and daily practices such as housework or cleaning your teeth with full attention, moment by moment.
Research by Oxford University, published in The Lancet, shows that MBCT is as effective as medication for preventing repeat bouts of depression, and the more challenging the participants’ childhood experiences, the more effective it is.
‘MBCT helps them to recognise what’s happening, engage with it in a different way and respond to it with equanimity and compassion,Williem Kuylen.
6. Improve your sex life.
Do you long for greater intimacy with your partner? Perhaps you wish they would touch you in a certain way, or maybe you feel hesitant about expressing your needs?
It’s quite common to have an inner dialogue going on while you’re making love – which your partner has no idea about! If you’re absorbed in your thoughts and not the experience of your body, your capacity to enjoy sex is greatly reduced.
By dropping your attention from your head and consciously choosing to be fully present in your body, you’ll be much more open to receiving the quality of your partner’s touch and fully experiencing the sensations it arouses in you.
You may even discover the intimacy you long for was there all the time.
7. Beat the pain.
A shocking 28 million people in the UK suffer from chronic pain – almost half the population (43 percent). And it’s not just the elderly, more than a third of sufferers are under 75.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that continues for more than three months, so if that includes you, you’ll know how debilitating it can be. The good news, many people benefits from mindfulness practice.
A study by the University of Washington found an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program significantly improved pain levels and functional ability – and they were still present six and 12 months after completion of the course.
8. Ease Symptoms of Chronic illness.
Long-term illness is especially debilitating. But mindfulness has been shown to help make conditions more manageable, even illnesses as serious as cancer.
A study by the University of Calgary found a seven-week program of MBSR had positive benefits for a group of cancer outpatients.
After the completion of the 90-minute weekly meditation classes, the patients had a 31 percent reduction in symptoms of stress, and 65 percent fewer mood disturbances.
What’s more, they also experienced less cardiopulmonary and gastrointestinal symptoms, and less emotional irritability, depression and cognitive disorganization.
Online programs are effective too. The eCALM trial offered patients mindfulness-based cancer recovery (MBCR), a ‘real-time’ group psychosocial program, consisting of eight two-hour online classes and a six-hour retreat.
Patients reported improved mood and stress reduction. They also had a calmer response to difficult experiences and had more energy.
9. Enhance communication.
How often do you know exactly what you’d like to say to someone – the day after you had the conversation the benefits of mindfulness.
When you’re in the middle of a conversation – especially one that’s emotionally charged or taking place while your attention is being pulled in another direction– it’s not always easy to be in touch with the truth of what you’re feeling, let alone find the best way of expressing it.
Maybe you’re speaking to someone who’s hypersensitive and you know you need to tread carefully around them. Or perhaps it’s a subject that you feel strongly about, but you don’t yet know how best to contain your feelings and still get your point across in a clear, lucid way.
Being in a mindful state helps you manage your feelings without losing sight of them, and enables you to maintain the clarity of thought you need to contact your inner self and then get your point over in a way that respects both parties.
10. Get better sleep.
Anyone who’s suffered the lingering mental and physical effects of a poor night’s sleep on a regular basis, as I have on numerous occasions in the past, can appreciate this all-important benefits of mindfulness meditation better sleep.
In fact, research with older adults diagnosed with sleep disturbances found that the practice resulted in significant short-term improvement in sleep quality by remediating sleep problems.
Researchers noted this improvement apparently carried over to “reducing sleep-related daytime impairment that has implications for quality of life.”
If you struggle with this, turn to p94 for more on skillful communication using mindfulness.
Mindfulness meditation techniques.
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment.
This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
Basic mindfulness meditation- Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
Body sensations- Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
Sensory- Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
Emotions- Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
Urge surfing- Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
Health Benefits of Mindfulness for Kids and Students.
Many studies have been conducted using college students as participants, as they are an easily accessible population that is often willing to participate in simple incentives like extra credit or some extra spending money.
Mindfulness studies with children as the participants are becoming more common as well, as more and more benefits of mindfulness on early development are discovered.
We’ll describe some of the amazing outcomes associated with mindfulness on children, teens, and young adults here.
Mindfulness Benefits for College Students
Adults are not the only ones who can reap the benefits of mindfulness. College students have also experienced incredible positive impacts resulting from the practice of mindfulness.
Improved Academic Success
Mindfulness is known to be effective in helping students achieve academic success in a variety of ways, and this benefit is not reserved for any specific group.
The following groups of children have enjoyed the benefits of mindfulness when it comes to their academic performance:
- Elementary students who practice mindfulness exhibit greater prosocial behaviors, emotion regulation, and academic performance.
- Teenagers studying for a general education certificate who participated in a mindfulness program experienced lower depression and anxiety, which contributed to improved academic attainment.
- Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who participated in five-week mindfulness the program reported decreased stress, allowing them to focus on school.
- Urban male youth who participated in MBSR experienced less stress, anxiety, and negative coping, improving their ability to deal with academic stress and achieve academic success.
- Children with ADHD displayed less aggression and conduct problems when exposed to mindfulness therapy, which helps them focus on their academics.
- Homeless middle school students who participated in a mindfulness course reported greater well-being and a higher incidence of using mindfulness in school, which can lead to greater quality of life and academic achievement.
Buffer against Bullying and Depression
Mindfulness can even help kids deal with bullies!
- A Chinese study on bullying victims and depression showed that mindfulness can protect children against the depressive symptoms that can arise from being victimized by bullies.
- A dissertation by Sandra Mccloy (2005) on mindfulness as a coping tool for bullying suggested that mindfulness can help children consider perspectives other than their own and find constructive reactions in the face of bullying.
- Mindfulness may even be an effective tool for addressing bullying at the source. Improving empathy with tools like mindfulness and improving social and emotional learning could be the key to stopping bullies before they become bullies.
Provide Support and Boost Resilience
Mindfulness can also aid children who have been involved in the welfare or mental health care system. A study on a mindfulness program for vulnerable children found that mindfulness improved emotion regulation, mood, empathy, confidence, and self-esteem, coping and social skills, and ability to pay attention and focus.
Resilience is a very effective skill for children to cope with daily struggles and develop emotionally, psychologically, and academically. Mindfulness training has been shown to boost resilience in children and help them understand and regulate their own emotions.
In the classroom, mindfulness can be as simple as adding a station for students to visit any time they are feeling a hard emotion. This station can have crayons and be a “pause” station for students to spend 5-10 minutes before reflecting on the emotion.
Another study showed that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children reduced problem behaviors, attention problems, and anxiety while improving children’s social-emotional resiliency.
And the benefits of mindfulness don’t stop here. Mindfulness in the workplace also has numerous benefits for all levels of staff.
Advantages of Integrating Mindfulness in the Workplace.
Although many of the benefits of mindfulness described above can and do affect individuals in all areas of their lives including work, mindfulness’ impact on job performance may be the outcome that gets the most attention and interest from managers and executives.
There are several ways that mindfulness has been shown to impact job performance, including:
- Gallant (2016) found that mindfulness can improve executive functioning by improving inhibition abilities;
- Mindfulness in service industry workers improves job performance, even when controlling for workers’ level of engagement.
- showed that mindfulness in the workplace can actually increase the number of contract hours worked by employees, a result that will certainly catch the attention of higher-ups.
- Office employees who participated in an eight-week mindfulness intervention experienced lower levels of work-related stress, greater job satisfaction, and, ultimately, enhanced job performance as rated by their employer.
Beyond job performance, mindfulness has also been applied to the workplace for other benefits of mindfulness that can contribute to a healthy and productive work environment.
Reduced Work-Related Stress and Psychological Distress.
One of the most common benefits of mindfulness practicing in the workplace is the decrease in stress experienced by employees.
Researchers Gregoire and La-chance (2015) found that employees at call centers who took part in a brief mindfulness intervention reported decreased stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and negative affect, while also experiencing greater satisfaction at work.
- Similarly, employees from the Dow Chemical Company enjoyed less stress and increased resiliency and vigor after completing an online mindfulness intervention.
- Huang, Li, Huang, and Tang (2015) also found that mindfulness reduces stress, fatigue, and psychological distress, especially for employees struggling with poor mental health.
- A study of public sector employees showed that this group was also able to benefit from the mental health effects of mindfulness.
These employees reported less stress, reduced psychological distress, and improved social functioning and quality of life.
Why Teenagers Should Learn Mindfulness Meditation.
While life is already complicated for teenagers, it’s not going to get easier on its own. High school may feel like a challenge, but what follows tends to be more of a challenge. benefits of mindfulness for Students either transition to college or the workforce both of which include new environments, social settings, and responsibilities.
Learning how to get stress and anxiety under control as a teenager will help set them up to make these transitions into adult life much smoother and easier than continuing on the path they are on. here are amazing benefits of mindfulness for Teen.
Benefits of Mindfulness for Teens.
Improved sleep habits- Mindfulness can help students put their minds at rest and get a better night’s sleep.
Improved attention span- Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can help students improve their attention span. This helps them to pay attention better in class which can lead to improved grades.
Reduced levels of anxiety- Learning to turn from negative thoughts and stress help students to lower their anxiety levels.
Lowers the chance of substance abuse- The Addiction Center reports that some teens with anxiety disorder turn to substances like alcohol and drugs in an effort to numb the stress that they are feeling.
When they know healthy ways to handle anxiety, stress, and depression it reduces the chance that they will try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
Helps to regulate emotions- In society, it’s commonly known that teenagers can be more emotional. They are dealing with a new influx of hormones and it can make them feel like they are out of control.
When they practice mindfulness they learn how to connect with themselves on a deeper level and gain control of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
3 Tips on being mindful.
Many individuals and organizations now offer mindfulness training. However, you can start putting mindfulness into practice with a few simple exercises.
1- One-minute breathing exercises many benefits of mindfulness, Sit with your back straight but relaxed. For the next minute, focus your entire attention on your breathing in and out, how air passes in and out of your nostrils, and how your abdomen rises and goes down with each breath.
If thoughts start crowding in, gently let them go and refocus on your breathing.
2- Check-in with yourself Bring yourself into the present moment by asking yourself, ‘What is going on with me at the moment?’ You can label your thoughts and feelings — for example, ‘that’s an anxious feeling’ — and let them go. You may start to feel more of an observer instead of someone reacting to thoughts and feelings.
3- Eat mindfully When you’re having a meal, focus on your eating. Don’t read or watch TV at the same time. Pay attention to how the food looks, smells and tastes. You may find you enjoy your food more, and stop eating when you’re full instead of automatically finishing what’s on your plate.
Here are some Journal Articles for you
If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness from an academic standpoint, there are a few key journal articles to put on your reading list:
- how to be mindful and 4 mindfulness worksheets
- 10 amazing life changer mindfulness quotes
- How to get started a walking meditation
- 10 amazing health benefits of mindfulness and easy meditation technique
- 5 easy way of Loving Kindness Meditation technique and benefit
- 101 way of Start a mindful breathing well
- 7 ways of mindfulness body scan meditation exercise: benefit
- Walking meditations: with peace is every step
- What is mindful eating: techniques, benefit, exercise
Hopefully, you have got all kinds of information related to benefit of mindfulness. If you practice these meditation and mindfulness for benefits regularly, then not only will your stress problem reduce, but other life problems will also get rid of it.
Write this article in the comment box below, how did you like it and did you get any kind of benefit from doing these mindfulness and meditation.