Mindfulness has lots of benefits that are only recently being recognised in the Western world. Thankfully it's now more mainstream and is even being taught in prisons, schools, and the workplace. It’s an extremely versatile tool that can be used for general wellbeing along with more serious mental health conditions
Benefits of mindfulness include:
1 | It aids relaxation
When you experience worry and anxiety its because you are thinking about about past or future activities but when your mind is fully engaged on the present, it’s very difficult to feel bad. It’s also nearly impossible to think about more than one thing at a time. However, it is possible to switch back and forth between several thoughts but it gets easier to control this when you practice mindfulness. Studies have also shown that it lowers cortisol, the primary stress hormone which obviously will help you relax.
2 | You’ll have greater self-control
Mindfulness is a really good way to remove the negative feelings surrounding certain tasks like the things we’ve been avoiding. This is because you aren’t focused on the bad things that happened last time you did that thing you're avoiding or worrying about the unknown future consequences. When you don’t have those negative feelings attached you are less likely to procrastinate so you’ll get more done.
3 | It makes you more open minded
When you are being mindful you can’t judge others. We all judge, it's human nature but we judge based on our own ideas of what is right or wrong. But that’s based on our model of the world! It doesn’t make it true, it isn’t kind and it doesn’t make us happy. If you aren’t judging you will be more at peace and you might meet some really interesting people or have life changing experiences without judgement getting in the way.
4 | You’ll sleep better.
Studies have shown that the stress-lowering properties of mindfulness carry through to bedtime. People that practice mindfulness have been found to have less brain activity at night time which means they sleep better.
5 | Numerous health benefits.
The practice of mindfulness lowers the incidence of depression in multiple demographics, lessens feelings of loneliness, boosts the ability to fight colds, enhances weight loss success, and decreases the odds of developing mental illnesses. It also lowers blood pressure and increases the tolerance for pain. One study even showed that people with irritable bowel syndrome find their symptoms reduced by over 40%.
6 | It increases focus
Mindfulness means fewer thoughts fighting for the brain's attention and it regulates emotions so it’s much easier to focus on the task at hand.
7 | It Benefits the workplace
Mindfulness in the workplace results in fewer sick days, it boosts employee morale, and increases productivity. If you are an employer what’s not to love about those benefits. If you are an employee you’ll start enjoying your job more and feel better about being there.
I can’t think of anything else with that many benefits which is totally free, can you?
The hardest part of mindfulness is remembering to be mindful