10 Benefits of Mindfulness

10 benefits of mindfulness mindfulness mindfulness benefits

Ok, there are waaaay more than 10 benefits to practising mindfulness, but here are the very best ones you need to know!

  1. Improves your memory. If your powers of recollection are not as good as they used to be, or if you simply want to improve your ability to memorise things and ward of dementia, then mindfulness is for you! Studies have shown that mindfulness strengthens cortical levels in the hippocampus, the region of the brain that regulates memory, learning and cognitive function.

 

  1. Encourages better moods. With regular mindfulness meditation, you can improve your emotional state as it regulates your brain’s production of serotonin. This is a hormone which is responsible for your moods; happiness and anxiety for example. Higher levels of serotonin equates to a happier mood. Being in a mindful state releases serotonin, making you more joyful! Appreciating your surroundings in the present moment literally trains your brain to make you happier!

 

Bonus Benefit – regulating serotonin also gives you the ability to control your bowels, reduce the risk of blood clots, aid sleep, strengthen bones and combat nausea.

 

  1. Increases the ability to focus. Having trouble concentrating? Mindfulness practise is the answer! Research shows that people who use mindfulness techniques improve their cognitive flexibility and can perform higher feats of concentration than those who do not.

 

  1. Helps build stronger relationships! Yes, mindfulness can enable you to build stronger, longer-lasting relationships. How? We’re glad you asked! Studies prove that when you practise mindfulness, you allow your brain to open neural pathways which give greater clarity to forms of expression and can also improve tolerance for traumatic events and emotional hardship. By making your brain more resilient, you are in a better position to think and act more decisively, communicate more clearly and better articulate your feelings. You become more caring, empathetic and diplomatic, and are therefore more able to appreciate others’ standpoints.

Bonus Benefit – mindfulness then, also increases your ability to work in teams and, therefore, increases productivity and problem-solving.

 

  1. Reduces inflammatory responses in the body, aids recovery from illness and limits the effects of chronic pain.

 

  1. Improves overall health and wellness. Research has also shown, via results of people submitting to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) tests, that mindfulness practitioners developed better overall health than non-practitioners. Studies indicated that people who use mindfulness have better physical and mental health, including those in chronic pain, higher personal development such as empathy and patience, and a better quality of life.

 

  1. Reduces pain and its psychological effects. The American Medical Association’s 2014 Review showed that mindfulness can reduce levels of pain. It also demonstrated that mindfulness practitioners were better able to cope with the psychological fall-out that pain often brings. These findings were further backed-up in the journal Pain Medicine.

 

  1. Improves your breathing. Mindfulness meditation allows you to concentrate on your present, which means you can concentrate on how you breathe. Simply by paying attention to how you inhale and exhale can help you to regulate your breathing, maximise the air intake into your lungs and the blood flow to your brain.

 

  1. Keeps you grounded. When we practise mindfulness, we are living in the moment. We focus on the present and appreciate our surroundings. The act of doing this allows us to accept our thoughts, especially the negative ones, let them pass without analysis or judgement, and means we can just… Be. When we do this, we let go of negative ideas and feelings about ourselves and the world around us, which helps us to keep grounded, maintain perspective and achieve balance and harmony in our lives.

 

And, finally…

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety. Of course, the benefit that most people are already aware of; mindfulness reduces your levels of stress! Many studies have shown that mindfulness can have a significant effect on stress, anxiety and depression. Remember that lovely serotonin from Benefit 2? If you don’t, you should definitely consider doing some mindfulness! Well, it is the ‘happy hormone’ that mindfulness stimulates that leads to you feeling all warm and fuzzy. How can stress, anxiety and depression exist when you are in that state? Answer: it can’t. So, a big hooray for serotonin… and mindfulness!

 

Bonus Benefit – mindfulness is a natural way to combat negative thoughts which lead to stress, anxiety and depression. By practising mindfulness, you can (but make sure you consult your doctor) avoid prescribed medications such as anti-depressants.

 



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