What do mean when talk about “mindfulness?” Many of us go through our lives on autopilot. We’re so busy trying to accomplish daily tasks, we do two things at one time just to keep pace. It can be as simple as walking the dog while talking on the phone or exercising while mentally making a list of chores. As a consequence, we ignore the connection between ourselves and the present moment.

Mindfulness helps us reconnect with the present. It is the regular habit of purposefully paying attention to the present moment while letting go of judgment. Many people use mindfulness meditation or yoga to connect with the present moment.

Research has shown that mindfulness is a key component of happiness and studies have shown that it has positive effects on physical health, mental capacity and well-being.

Improves Well-Being

Many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life will improve by practicing mindfulness. By focusing on the present moment:

  • It will be easier for you to savor the pleasures in life as they happen.
  • You’ll become fully engaged in activities because of an improved ability to focus.
  • You’ll gain a greater ability to manage adverse events.
  • You’ll be less likely to get caught up in apprehensions about the future.
  • You’ll have less anxieties from regrets over the past.
  • Forming deep connections with other people will become easier.

Improves Physical Health

Research has discovered that practicing mindfulness techniques also helps improve physical health. One study showed that mindfulness meditation lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which decreased the risk of stress-related illness such as heart disease, hypertension, ulcers, chronic pain, insomnia and migraines.

Improves Mental Health

Mindfulness shows effective results when used in mental health and substance abuse treatment, because it helps people accept their experiences, like painful emotions, rather than avoid them. Therapists use mindfulness meditation and yoga to treat many different mental health issues such as:

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Used together, mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy help people with addiction. (3) Using mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy in the same treatment plan normalized thinking processes, which increased cognitive control. Better cognitive control helped individuals handle irrational, maladaptive and self-defeating thoughts in healthier ways.

Use It to Improve Your Life

Teaching ourselves to relax and be more receptive, rather than reactive, happens when we practice mindfulness techniques. Meditate, do yoga or simply tune in with yourself throughout the day. You’ll have a greater capacity to slow racing thoughts that lead to self-destructive behaviors. You’ll also have a greater capacity to bounce back from tough times and enhance your ability to experience joyfulness in everyday events.

Practice mindfulness to give yourself the priceless gift of time, the permission to move at a slower pace and be in the present moment, to experience life as you live it and to discover the true you along the way.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940837/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23724462
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26822363