How would it feel to have days free of anxiety, to be able to enjoy the good things no matter how small in each day? Or what about having restful and uninterrupted sleep night in night out? With all the distractions that our lives consist of these days that may seem like an impossibility but a recent study from the Journal of Research in Personality have found that being mindful enhances our response to daily stress allowing us to enjoy all of the above.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is the practice of sustaining an enhanced state of awareness. It is a tool used to achieve total recognition of every thought, experience, sensation and emotion as they present themselves to you. As thoughts drift in and out they should be neither judged right or wrong, being mindful means that there is no correct way to think or feel.
MIND AND BODY BENEFITS
So what are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?
Mindfulness reduces stress levels. Firstly, by being mindful you don’t see stress in the same way as you once did. Your reaction to stressful situations become much healthier but research has also shown that there is an actual decrease in cortisol – the hormone responsible for stress.
Decreases the risk of depression. The Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal reported a reduction in depression among pregnant women and teenagers.
Decreases chronic pain. Practicing mindfulness has been reported by the Australian Journal of Psychology as allowing people who are suffering from chronic pain the ability to manage their symptoms far more effectively.
It improves focus. Increased focus and the ability to avoid mental overload and burnout has been shown to significantly improve in people who practice mindfulness.
Ability to break bad habits. Mindfulness Based Addiction Treatment (MBAT) is being used successfully nationwide in recovery programs of people dealing with addiction.