What are the benefits of being mindful?
It’s common to sometimes get carried away with thoughts or worries about the past or future. Mindfulness can help you focus on the here and now. It teaches you how to react to everyday events with acceptance and without judgement.
Mindfulness can have many benefits for the mind, body and relationships. For example, studies show that mindfulness can:
Improve your moodadd
Mindfulness can help your mind disconnect from its stress centre, the amygdala. This increases positive emotions while reducing stress and negativity.
People with stress-related disorders tend to have a smaller hippocampus. This area of the brain is used for memory. Mindfulness can increase the size of your hippocampus and help to protect you against the negative effects of stress.
Improve memory and concentrationadd
The pre-frontal cortex can become more developed with the practice of mindfulness. This is the part of your brain responsible for awareness, concentration, planning and decision making.
Keep you healthyadd
Mindfulness can improve your body’s ability to fight off disease. A major study found that people who took part in an eight-week mindfulness course had a stronger immune system.
Help you sleep betteradd
People who practice mindfulness may sleep better and feel less tired. You can create a relaxation response in the body when you focus on a calming sound, thought, or image. This helps you fall asleep more easily. If you practice mindfulness during the day, it is easier to create this response when you need to go to sleep.
There’s evidence that mindfulness increases activity in the areas of the brain related to understanding the suffering of others. Studies also point to more activity in those areas involved in self-compassion and regulating emotions.
Mindfulness can lead to greater satisfaction in relationships. It seems to increase emotional intelligence, which can improve your social skills. It also helps you cooperate and understand other people’s perspectives.
Help treat anxiety and depressionadd
Mindfulness has been used to treat anxiety and depression for over a decade. At least one major study suggests it may be as good as medication in treating depression and preventing relapse.
Please note: The practice of mindfulness can be helpful for people with disorders related to trauma. In such cases, we recommend working with a skilled mindfulness instructor because some people may re-experience traumatic memories.
Check out this video on why mindfulness is a superpower:
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