Mindfulness is a popular buzz word lately. You’ve probably heard it throughout the news and social media. You’ve also probably heard me talk about it in my mindfulness challenge in February and on social media, but you may be thinking does mindfulness really work? What are the benefits of mindfulness? Do the affects work on anyone? Isn’t mindfulness for people into new age stuff?
Mindfulness isn’t just new age stuff, the medical and scientific communities have proven that mindfulness has many benefits for anyone willing to practice regularly, even if for only 5 minutes a day. The benefits can be so great that more and more schools and work places are looking for ways to introduce mindfulness so that students and workers can see these benefits too.
Today I’ll tell you about 6 proven ways that you can benefit from mindfulness. These aren’t just 6 benefits I’ve pulled from internet searching, they’re 6 benefits that I have personally noticed from a regular mindfulness practice which is the reason I think it’s important to spread the word so that you can see these same benefits too.
Stay tuned for next Monday with the 3rd part of this mindfulness series where I will show you different ways that you can incorporate mindfulness in your busy life.
A regular mindfulness practice has been proven to lower stress in multiple ways. A quick 3 – 10 minute meditation can instantly lower feelings of stress and anxiety. Reduced stress is the first affect I noticed when doing my Month of Mindfulness Challenge.
Not only does mindfulness reduce stress in the moment, but the affects carry on throughout your day. People who practice mindfulness regularly have lower stress overall, and a small study has shown that mindfulness decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Mindfulness treats anxiety by teaching you how to live in the moment and not be triggered by thoughts and emotions. Many of us have been in a terrible anxiety spiral where you are trapped in your thoughts and it feels impossible to move on to anything else.
Mindfulness helps you train your brain to accept passing thoughts, and to move on and live in the present moment. When you live in the moment you aren’t worried and anxious about the future, you aren’t depressed about the past, you are simply in the moment.
Although the results can be outstanding this doesn’t happen overnight. A mindfulness practice is just that, a practice, and with practice comes improvements.
Improve Concentration and Focus
Many studies have proved that incorporating mindfulness in your daily routine can help improve your concentration. This is another area I personally noticed an immediate improvement in when doing my Month of Mindfulness Challenge. You don’t need drastic hour a day meditations to see the affects either. A simple 5 minute a day practice will show results.
When you really need that extra focus to complete your work for a looming deadline you can use a guided meditation designed specifically to help you focus. In fact while writing this very blog post I used my BellaBeat Focus Guided Meditation to help me focus to complete this post.
Improve How You Process Emotions
One of the benefits of a regular mindfulness practice is that you learn to move through your emotions and thoughts without grabbing hold of them and concentrating on them. In other words, it helps you move through your day in the mood you choose to have without letting different factors have a major affect on you.
Have you ever had a coworker say something nasty about you, or forget your wallet at home and have it ruin your entire day? With mindfulness these things still happen, but you are better equipped to move past these obstacles and continue to have a good day regardless of what obstacles are thrown your way.
We all know that getting 7 – 8 hours of a good nights sleep is important for our health, but many of us struggle falling asleep at night. Mindfulness helps fight insomnia and can help you get a better nights sleep.
Just like improving your focus, a regular mindfulness practice improves your sleep, but you can also do individual exercises with the main purpose of falling asleep. Whenever I have an especially overactive mind I use a BellaBeat or Headspace guided mediation to help me fall asleep quickly, and it’s always worked.
Improve Your Overall Happiness
Many people believe that happiness depends on who you are. Some people are happy people, and others are not. However, that viewpoint has changed after many studies looking at mindfulness. In fact, you can train your brain so that you are happier overall. The only thing required is an open mind and a commitment to a regular meditation practice.
There ya have it, 6 ways that mindfulness can help improve your life. Come back next week to learn how you can incorporate mindfulness into your busy life so you can receive all of these great benefits.