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7 Long-term Benefits of Mindfulness

Want to enhance your capacity to cope with stress, connect with people, and improve resilience? Practicing mindfulness in your life can definitely help you with this and much more. In this article, we will discuss the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of mindfulness.

For the last several years, scientific studies have been popping up on how effective mindfulness can be. Especially, in bringing about personal improvements in your life. So, if you’re looking to increase your emotional intelligence, decrease stress, and anxiety. Moreover, to build your self-monitoring capacity, mindfulness exercises can help.

From reducing stress to better physical health, BegumC compiles these remarkable benefits of mindfulness for you.

Mindfulness for Stress-Relief

Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to get at the root of all your stress-related problems. Your brain’s over-active tendency to see potential disasters everywhere you look. When you sit mindfully, you become aware of the constant sense of dissatisfaction in your mind.

What’s amazing about mindfulness is that instead of feeding this stress by doing more or speeding up, you do the opposite. You start focusing on something simple and unproblematic like your breath. Once you calm down a little, you observe those stressful feelings without getting swept up in them.

Over weeks and months of regular practice, your brain actually changes. You react less strongly to difficult situations and even if your stress response does get triggered, you recover faster.

Mindfulness for Happiness

Real happiness doesn’t come from possessions or success. It comes from the quality of your experiences. Mindfulness increases happiness by improving your ability to notice and appreciate everyday experiences.

Despite having all kinds of comforts and luxuries, a lot of people still face pain, illness, and everyday annoyances. This can destroy the ability to enjoy life. Mindfulness teaches you how to accept painful experiences as they happen. Research shows that this has a counter-intuitive effect. It increased awareness of pain results in less activation in brain areas linked with suffering.

Mindfulness for Resilience

Life’s big challenges visit us all as unwanted guests time and again. Yet, when you get hit hard, mindfulness can help you recover faster and grow from hardships. Mindfulness gets you in the habit of noticing things like the sunlight reflecting from your window, or the chirping of birds.

You’ll start to notice that the present moment is filled with some ordinary things that aren’t contaminated by fear, anger, pain, or loss. Focusing on something emotionally neutral doesn’t make the bad things go away. But it does give you a break from all your suffering. It gives you a starting point to collect yourself so that you can courageously face the future.

Mindfulness for Better Health

We all know mindfulness exercises help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep. But, did you know improving physical health is one of the greatest benefits of mindfulness? Practicing mindfulness regularly lower blood pressure, regulate sugar levels, and reduce chronic pain.

Doctors have known that stress is one of the biggest contributors to our physical health problems. It’s not just a mind thing, stress affects the whole body, leading to inflammation, pain, and struggle with digestion. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that mindfulness exercises lower our overall stress level, and improves our basic physical functioning.

Mindfulness for Better Memory

While practicing mindfulness, you pay attention to the present. Being fully in the moment allows you to actively process what you are perceiving through your senses. The contrast between looking and observing or hearing and listening makes a world of difference when it comes to memory.

According to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, practicing mindfulness for 20 minutes a day can boost memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. It also helps build a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex and reinforces memory capacity.

Mindfulness for Better Relationships

Another remarkable benefits of mindfulness are it helps you make your relationship better. Whether it’s romantic, idealistic, or parental, being present is essential to a relationship’s success.

In the context of mindfulness, this does not simply mean being physically present, but also emotionally present. If you’re the type of person who’s checking his/her cell phone during a dinner with family, you’re not being present.

Mindfulness actually guides your brain to be present in every moment. It encourages you to engage with the people you are with and help you be more caring and loving in your relationships.

Mindfulness for Anger

The more you try to contain your anger, the stronger its hold on you. This is the problem with typical anger management practices. Anger management isn’t always the solution. Most of the time, it’s necessary to acknowledge and address anger.

One thing that’s great about practicing mindfulness is that it allows you to feel what you should be feeling in the moment. It doesn’t deny your emotions and feelings, rather it lets you acknowledge them without any judgment. You get to consciously decide on how to deal with the situation with enough impulse control that you can turn rashness into something more productive.

Mindfulness shouldn’t be treated as additional work or something that compromises your family or work time. It can be done anywhere and even a few minutes a day can have a great impact on your life. We hope these seven benefits of mindfulness can change the way you think and approach your life. If you want to know more about mindfulness and meditation, browse The wellness blog.

Sources:
Sharma, M. & Rush, S. (2014). Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress-management intervention for healthy individuals: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 19, 271–286.

Lazar, S. W. (2010). Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 5, 11–17.

Birnie, K., Speca, M., & Carlson, L. (2010). Exploring self‐compassion and empathy in the context of mindfulness‐based stress reduction (MBSR). Stress & Health, 26, 359–371.

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