Amazing Health Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation for Body and Brain
Science suggests the benefits of mindfulness meditation can be phenomenal. From health benefits like combating heart diseases to cognitive benefits like improving your attention and memory, there is a number of ways in which regular mindfulness meditation can help you in your live.
A wealth of research has proven the amazing benefits of mindfulness meditation, the age-old practice. The theory has gained a tremendous surge in popularity in the past few years in both psychotherapy literature and media. The practice, which was native to the Buddhist religion, contributes a great deal towards mainstream psychotherapy today.
The best part is that the benefits of mindfulness meditation are not limited to certain people like monks. In fact, anyone who wishes to gain peace can benefit from it. Among the theorized benefits of mindfulness are objectivity, self-control, enhanced flexibility, affect tolerance, mental clarity, improved concentration, equanimity, emotional intelligence, combating depression, anxiety, and other similar mental disorders.
By utilizing a little of this theory with our eating patterns on a daily basis, we can also gain overall health benefits and fight threats like diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and even cancer. Last but not the least, advocates of mindfulness also stress on how it can help a person become more compassionate and kind.
So is it really as good as it is advertised? Let’s find out!
What exactly is mindfulness?
It is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a basic human ability to be completely aware and fully present in the current time and situation.
Have you ever taken a ride and reached the destination only to realize you remember nothing about your journey? Human beings have naturally become so overwhelmed and reactive by the things happening in our surroundings! It’s more of an autopilot setting where we fail to see and absorb the beauty of life because we are simply not fully present in the moment.
Our mind and bodies are stuck in mechanically-conditioned ways of operating, and we continue to live that way. This is the main reason why we become so vulnerable to mind-related disorders including depression, stress, reactivity, and anxiety. Research reveals how this makes us less content and satisfied.
While there are many cultivated proven techniques to practice mindfulness, meditation is quite practical and effective. Our minds are already familiar with the concept. We already have that capacity in our brain to be more present. All we need to do is utilize it to benefit ourselves and our environment.
Using mindfulness to combat depression, anxiety, and other disorders
Thanks to the growing exposure and media, mindfulness is not trapped in the monasteries or spiritual texts of hidden books anymore. Today, millions of people practice mindfulness for the amazing array of benefits it has to offer.
A common myth associated with mindfulness is that it is only beneficial for physical health. Research shows how such ideas could really underestimate this practice. A study was conducted by the Boston University included 1140 volunteers. The participants were provided mindfulness therapy to help with conditions like cancer, depression, and anxiety disorder. The results showed mindfulness as a promising treatment for mood and anxiety problems as well.
How mindfulness work scientifically?
What are the scientific benefits of mindfulness meditation? The following are three different results that emerged from the study mentioned above:
Self-presence: Learning to stop, analyze, identify, and respond
Since mindfulness makes people more intentionally aware, it gives them a little break to think. Instead of instantly reacting, feeling hurt or becoming distressed about criticism and rejection, they take their time to pause and understand the present moment.
This does not make them more present to the self but also more attuned to the emotions and needs of other people. Awareness allows them to choose happiness and satisfaction regardless of how challenging a situation is. Earlier on, the instant reaction only escalated negative emotions.
Dealing with fears
Participants who were a part of the study also reported how mindfulness helped them become more assertive about saying ‘no.’ Failure in turning down certain responsibilities or propositions can over-burden. It messes up the lifestyle balance, and the person fails to acknowledge his or her own needs.
Mindfulness awareness and assessing a situation in detail can help a person identify uncomfortable experiences in time. It helps them address situations with a new approach. As a result, they experience better assertiveness and self-confidence.
Being present with oneself and others
Being present in the situation and acknowledging the people around you is a great way to enjoy life better. It helps fight mental disorders such as depression and anxiety because people are able to live a more fulfilled life.
They have better relationships and connections with people, which enables them to talk to them. They are in a stronger position to let go off distressing histories. With mindfulness, people are also able to take a more constructive approach to disagreements.
Due to a new perspective, participants showed better energy levels and revealed how they feel less stressed and overwhelmed by negative emotions.
Mindfulness meditation and eating healthy for overall health
Other than combating depression and anxiety disorders, mindfulness can offer great benefits for overall health. Whether you opt for mindfulness meditation or mindful eating methods, both can lead to great health benefits.
Mindfulness meditation cannot be simpler. All you need is a distraction-free, relaxing spot where you can just sit and pay attention to your breathing pattern. Enclose your attention to yourself and your present surroundings. This allows you to dispel negativity out of your system and feel more fulfilled and satisfied.
On the other hand, if you practice mindful eating method, you can cut out a lot of bad food and change unhealthy eating habits to improve your health. For instance, you can be more careful about adding superfoods to your diet. It’s the best way to give your daily diet a boost.
Superfoods alone can offer various health benefits such as combating heart diseases, cancer, digestion, cholesterol, metabolism, and protecting organs against toxins to name a few.
Herbal drinks and concoctions can also help you in mindful eating. Lavender and chamomile tea can help you relax and cure insomnia often caused by depression and anxiety. Milk thistle tea benefits your entire body by healing you from the inside out. Valerian root and lemon balm improve your ability to focus.
Mindful eating also helps you make healthy food choices and fix your eating patterns. Since you are more careful about what you are eating, you also know when you should stop. Smaller food portions and good combinations help you achieve optimal health.
In short, mindfulness can also help with liver cirrhosis, heart health, inflammation, weight loss, diabetes, detoxifying the body, digestive issues, and other chronic diseases.
In conclusion, mindfulness is not an art to learn. It’s a capability that’s already a part of your system. All you need to do is, find out how to utilize it and make the most out of it. It’s a constant practice that, if you keep doing, will yield amazing results!
About the author: Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@IM_AndreaBell