Mindfulness is a form of meditation, and is a powerful tool. The positive effects of mindfulness can be the perfect answer to much of today’s stress and anxiety. But the benefits go far beyond that and can be instrumental in helping you improve your life in a vast range of different ways.
Today, we’ll talk about just 10 of the many benefits to demonstrate just how transformative mindfulness can be.
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Mindfulness teaches us how to be present and exist in the moment. This helps us rise above the stressful thoughts we’re faced with and can even begin to reprogram those thoughts.
Mindfulness requires intense focus and mental discipline, which is something many of us are lacking these days. The constant distraction of technology and the ability to find information about any topic at any time certainly doesn’t help. Mindfulness can help you learn to focus your mind and improve cognition.
Practice Anywhere and Anytime
Health organizations love mindfulness because it’s something anyone can practice. Once you understand the concept and have been taught the basics, it’s something you can do anywhere, with no additional requirements. And, like most everything, you can learn how to practice mindfulness online.
Multiple studies have shown that mindfulness can be used to effectively combat insomnia and increase sleep quality. Taking a few minutes in the evening before bed to relax your mind and body can increase your quality of sleep. There are also several recommended apps to help you through this process, many of which include guided mindfulness meditations.
Relief During Panic Attacks
Mindfulness is also an effective treatment for panic attacks. The article, 4 Ways to Curb a Panic Attack, published by Mindful.org, advises use of the following four elements of mindfulness to help lessen the effects of a panic attack:
- use of deep breathing techniques,
- targeted use of all five senses,
- and visualization.
Fewer Negative Emotions
In general, mindfulness can make tackling negative emotions far less overwhelming. In an article written by Ray Williams for Psychology Today, he speaks of the importance of being aware of and genuinely feeling our negative emotions, rather than avoiding them. Read more about the specific strategies he recommends HERE.
Improved Athletic Performance
Wha…? Yep, athletes have used mindfulness for many years. Mindfulness is only one step away from a ‘flow state’. WTH is a flow state? Good question. A flow state is simply a heightened state of awareness and presence that leads to amazing improvements in athletic performance.
You can read more about using mindfulness for athletic development in the following two articles:
- New directions in the psychology of optimal performance in sport: flow and clutch states
- Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement.
Being mindful means being more present, which in turn, means being aware of all the wonderful things happening around you. Instead of spending so much time in your own head, you begin to look outside yourself and experience the world differently. As a result, you experience increased levels of gratitude and happiness.
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” Bill WattersonClick To Tweet
Learning to observe and fully experience your own mind is an amazing skill that teaches you more about how your own brain works. Not only is it fascinating, it’s also a very useful skill for personal growth and development.
Increased Appreciation of Those Around You
In the process of learning more about you, you’ll also learn more about the minds of others. Mindfulness will provide you with the means to help your friends and family and positively influence your relationships with them.
Remember, mindfulness is a process, and these are just a few of the positive effects of mindfulness you’ll gain by incorporating the practice into your life!
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me what you think of mindfulness. Does it sound like something you’ll try? Do you already practice mindfulness? Tell me about it!
Focus and Cognition:
Anxiety and Panic:
Negative Thoughts and Emotions: