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The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a scientifically validated eight-week comprehensive evidence based program which provides intensive mindfulness training to help individuals with chronic pain, anxiety, depression and stress.

The program scientifically demonstrates that incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation, mindful eating, and walking to self-awareness will reduce stress levels, blood pressure, cravings and many other common illnesses.

The program also helps to cultivate inner strength and improve confidence, while lowering cortisol levels and enhancing immune function.

It is based on the scientifically validated relationship between the mind and body and there are documented case studies where those who have been diagnosed with or were going through major depression, diabetes, cancer, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic fatigue syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), anxiety disorders, and other mental health disorders have all reported significant improvements when they implemented the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program.

This holistic approach addresses the full spectrum of conditions, improving the health and wellness of not only the patient but their families as well. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is the only program of its kind to be accredited by The American College of Nutrition.

Mindfulness is a state of being consciously aware of your environment and yourself while being completely present to the feelings and sensations that you are feeling at that moment.

Achieving mindfulness is similar to the difference between being fully awake and fully asleep. When you are awake, you are aware of your surroundings; however, when you are fully asleep, you are unconscious of those surrounding you.

Mindfulness allows you to experience a balance of sensations and emotions while allowing those sensations and emotions to flow naturally without judgment.

In addition to the science behind the effects of mindfulness, the benefits to physical health and well-being are well-documented. Scientific research has shown that people who regularly practice meditation, breathing and mindfulness exercises are less likely to develop heart disease, lower high blood pressure and ease the symptoms of depression, tension, chronic pain, headaches and more.

While regular meditation does not have to take place in a formal meditation room or under the watchful eye of a professional monk, it can help to make developing mindfulness into a regular part of your daily routine.

The best way to begin meditating is to find a quiet place where there are no distractions, and learn to concentrate on your breath while your mind takes in all of your surroundings.

Practicing mindful meditation for around five minutes each day can greatly increase your awareness and deepen your concentration. You may also choose to start with a short meditation session that requires only your attention for a few moments.

Another study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology demonstrates the relationship between mindfulness and physical health.

The study performed by researchers at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom showed that participants who underwent mindfulness meditation were less likely to report pain after watching a video game. The participants reported an improved reaction time when watching the video game, too.

This study is significant because it demonstrates that the process of mindfulness meditation is not solely based on the ability to sit still and be aware. It also shows how the physical sensation of pain is impacted by the ability to focus on your breathing and to let go of worries.

Another study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology demonstrates that students who are enrolled in a mindfulness program were less likely to experience negative behaviors in the classroom.

This particular study compared four groups of students in two different classrooms: one group that was involved in a weekly mindfulness class and one group that was not.

After three months, the students who participated in the weekly class had significantly fewer negative behaviors and were much happier than those in the other group.

This study shows how the conscious effort to be mindful can lead to an overall sense of well-being, even when the student is away from home, in a stressful classroom, or otherwise experiencing a busy day.

In addition to their application to the workplace, the studies conducted on the effects of mindfulness show how they can benefit you in your every day life.

If you are experiencing an increased stress level or other physical ailments, you might benefit from incorporating a few mindfulness techniques into your daily routine.

You may also find that you are able to sleep better at night or that you are more attentive and focused when you are completing your daily tasks.

A study published in Psychological Review draws together the results of numerous studies on the effects of mindfulness on health and well-being.

The researchers review the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices on measures of physical and mental health, and they compare them with claims by various manufacturers that their products work best when used in conjunction with meditation and mindfulness.

The review found that the benefits of meditation and mindfulness were modest and inconsistent across different types of trials.

However, the authors found that those who meditate regularly tend to have higher counts of reported sleep problems, greater levels of anxiety and depression, and lower self-esteem and social skill.

Likewise, those who report they are most stressed out on a regular basis and engage in mindfulness practices tend to report more persistent headaches and physical pain than those who don’t meditate.

There are many ways you can develop your awareness of your own thoughts and reactions, without judging yourself.

In fact, some of the easiest and most effective ways to develop basic mindfulness meditation include breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, mantra repetition, or mindfulness of your breath.

Developing mindfulness is also helpful for those who want to improve their physical health by reducing their blood pressure, diabetes, or even stress and insomnia.

Mindfulness can also reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other disorders by enabling you to notice when you are anxious and how your body responds to that tension.

Regardless of what you use mindfulness for, it is helpful to learn about the mind’s natural mechanisms and how to bring it into conscious play when it is needed.

 

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