Many benefits associated with mindfulness can help improve health.
Mindfulness is the practice of deliberately sharpening awareness of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment and enduring them without harsh judgment. Experts define mindfulness as a style of processing experiences by sustaining a consistent awareness of one’s consciousness. Mindfulness is a state of mind rather than a trait.
Mindfulness promotes the body and mind to cultivate a greater sense of mental, physical, and emotional well-being. The idea is to bring the thinking processes and actions under heightened intentional control.
Studies show mindfulness is successful in improving levels of mental well-being, serenity, concentration, and attention abilities, all of which assist in the development of healthy emotion-regulation techniques. This holistic treatment facilitates harmony between the mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of a person’s condition.
There are several ways you can begin to practice mindfulness. Consider the following forms of mindfulness to start the pursuit of greater self-awareness and enhanced mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.
Sit in a quiet environment and concentrate on your breathing or a word you mentally repeat. Maintain focus on your breathing or repeated word as you let your thoughts flow without hesitation or judgment.
Take note of minor body sensations, such as the feeling of your feet on the ground or the sensation of your hair against your skin.
Pay attention to specific smells, sights, sounds, touches, and tastes while refraining from judgment and allow these thoughts to pass through your mind.
Permit all emotions to remain present without giving into any urges associated with them. Name the emotions you feel in a relaxed and stable manner. Accept the presence of any emotions and proceed to release them.
If you are coping with cravings to engage in addictive behaviors, let them be present and permit them to pass. Maintain awareness of how your body feels when the urges first develop. Replace your desire for the urge with the insight that it will pass.
You may be familiar with the well-known benefits associated with practicing mindfulness, but fresh research has shed light on several lesser-known benefits. Here’s a window into the less well-known yet authentic and exceptional advantages of mindfulness holistic therapy.
Scientists have determined that mindfulness methods can promote the improvement of physical health due to their ability to reduce stress levels, soothe chronic pain, promote healthy sleep, decrease blood pressure, relieve gastrointestinal problems, and fight heart disease. For example, a study measuring the impact of mindfulness on health depicted the capacity of mindfulness to improve cardiovascular health, promote more physical activity, and help individuals maintain a healthy body mass index.
Another study examining how mindfulness influences health behaviors suggests the practice is correlated with making healthier lifestyle choices. These choices include getting routine check-ups, engaging in physical activity, using seat belts while driving, and avoiding habits such as smoking and alcohol.
Digestion and hunger cues involve a range of intricate hormonal signals from the areas of the body to the nervous system. It typically takes the brain about 20 minutes to register fullness. When someone eats too fast or is distracted during a meal, they may reach a state of fullness without realizing it, resulting in overeating. Mindful eating can facilitate slower and more observant eating habits.
Further research regarding the influence of mindfulness on the physical health of obese or overweight individuals verified its effectiveness at improving patients’ eating behaviors, perspectives toward food, and reducing levels of depression.
Numerous studies indicate those who practice mindfulness on a consistent basis sustain enhanced levels of self-awareness, clarity, and calmness. This can improve people’s ability to respond appropriately to stressful situations and communicate their feelings with their partners. Additional empirical evidence suggests mindfulness can serve as a shield from the emotionally traumatic effects of relationship turmoil and can foster higher levels of relationship satisfaction.
Mindfulness intervention has quick results, according to studies from Northeastern University College of Science. Intervention had a substantial impact on 50 percent of the study subjects, making them more empathetic. Recently, further scientific research shows more brain activity tends to occur in areas connected with empathy while engaging in mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness therapy and positive brain alterations are connected. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found lower stress might play a significant role in reducing the onset of certain neurological and cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Research found those who practice mindfulness learn self-observation, which neurologically untangles the automatic routes formed by earlier learning experiences. This allows individuals to assimilate present-moment learning experiences in an entirely novel way. Such effects can be especially helpful to those in addiction recovery, because it can help them dissociate their present self from previously formed automatic thoughts and responses associated with urges and addictive behaviors.
Mindfulness does not remove symptoms of disease, but it can help individuals manage them better. Evidence collected from clinical trials has found mindfulness practices may alleviate worry, promote spirituality, lessen fatigue, and improve vigor in patients fighting chronic, terminal, and other forms of severe illnesses.
When researchers compared the attentional functioning of a group that practiced mindfulness on a regular basis with another group that did not practice mindfulness, they discovered the mindfulness group had outstandingly higher performance levels. Researchers then confirmed the correlation between mindfulness and the improved ability to concentrate attention and reduce distractions.
We have covered an assortment of lesser-known advantages of mindfulness mediation, but this is only a glimpse into the potential for holistic approaches as alternative treatments. Holistic therapies like mindfulness can enhance physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, so people can even use mindfulness practices as an organic means of pursuing holistic addiction recovery. Mindfulness is a natural method of treatment, which can be instrumental in preventing relapse, and can effectively help individuals pursue holistic recovery without relying on medication.
Ellie Savoy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach and the author of the #1 international best selling book “Stop Dieting Start Living: 5 Foundations for Your Health to Permanently Lose Weight Without Dieting Starvation or Suffering in Silence”. She is also the founder of the Stop Dieting Start Living Weight Loss System. Her commonsense and step by step approach has literally transformed the way people look at their body, health and life. She spent over two decades under a great deal of stress. She lost sight of the importance of her health time and time again; gaining weight and yo-yo dieting to take care of it, skipping meals during the day, eating too late at night, and letting work dictate how all of her time was spent. Many people need a trigger for change in life and the first trigger for her was her mother’s passing in 2008. Then just 21 months later her father passed away. Not only was this a ton of grief to process, but it started her on a deeper exploration of what is really important in this life. The saying “you can’t take it with you when you die” really hit home. She had been living with so much stress striving for more and more losing sight of herself and her health. The final trigger was in 2011 when she was diagnosed with two uterine fibroids. The four options she was given were actually not options for her! Three involved surgery and the other one was to do nothing. This scared her into understanding what she needed to do to naturally heal her body and permanently end the yo-yo dieting dilemma. This was when she really embraced making healthy permanent lifestyle changes. Since then she has been enjoying living a diet free and healthy life, without aches and pains, medications and a bunch of rules! She hasn’t looked back since. Ellie’s approach is not just for yo-yo dieters or those wanting to lose weight – it’s for everyone who is concerned about what their future looks like and wants to take control of their health. She has helped women with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid imbalance, irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other symptoms. Ellie helps you to show up in your own life, stop making excuses, shift your mindset, have a plan and connect with the passion in your belly to live your best life. It’s a lot of fun!