The scientific proof for the benefits of mindfulness meditation is massive. New applications for the practice are being discovered by researchers in almost every aspect of our lives.
The term "mindfulness" has been used to describe a psychological state of awareness, practices that promote this awareness, a mode of information processing, and a personality trait.
Mindfulness can be developed through a variety of disciplines and practices, such as yoga, but the majority of the literature has focused on mindfulness developed through mindfulness meditation — those self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thus foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calmness, clarity, and concentration.
What are the advantages of mindfulness?
Mindfulness boosts happiness.
Developing your capacity for mindfulness benefits many perceptions that contribute to a happy life. Being mindful allows you to sit back and enjoy life's pleasures as they arise, allows you to become completely involved with activities, and enhances your capacity to deal with adversity. Many people who practice mindfulness find that by focusing on the here and now, they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets about the past, are less obsessed with worries about achievement and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
Mindfulness improves physical health.
Researchers have discovered that the practice can help people overcome a variety of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic illnesses, which can cost millions of dollars in healthcare, not to mention pain and suffering. It also strengthens the immune system and slows the aging process. If increased happiness isn't enough of a motivator, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques can help improve physical health in a variety of ways. Mindfulness has been shown to help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal problems.
Mindfulness helps to improve mental health.
Professionals have turned to mindfulness meditation in recent years as an important component in the treatment of a variety of problems, including depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples' conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mindfulness meditation is now being used to treat a variety of mental disorders, including depression, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and others. Practitioners also report increased self-esteem and confidence.
Mindfulness meditation expands on intensity exercises.
Follow the current - After establishing concentration, you observe the flow of inner thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations without judging them as good or bad.
Pay close attention. - You are also aware of external sensations such as sounds, sights, and touch that contribute to your current experience. The challenge is not to become fixated on a single idea, emotion, or sensation, or to become preoccupied with the past or the future. Instead, you observe what goes on in your mind and discover which mental habits cause you to feel good or bad.
Keep going. - This process may not appear to be relaxing at times, but it eventually leads to greater happiness and self-awareness as you become more comfortable with a broader range of your experiences.
“Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom.” – Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
The impacts of mindfulness meditation are usually dose-related — the more you do, the greater the effect. Most people believe that it takes at least 20 minutes for the mind to settle, so this is an acceptable place to begin.
Get a copy of our 'A Guide to Meditation E-book' to guide you on your meditation journey!
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