What is Mindfulness?
We are all familiar with the term ‘mindful’ as being conscious or aware of something. However, this is very different from mindfulness — a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations without judgement, and our colloquial use of the term is dissimilar from mindfulness meditation.
Our increased awareness of mindfulness is, in part, due to articles and stories about the health benefits of mindfulness. These health benefits are not the product of merely being conscious of something, nor from being in the present moment now and again. Instead, health benefits occur after training in mindfulness meditation. During training, participants learn mindfulness techniques and incorporate them within their daily life. Mindfulness meditation can occur while sitting, walking, or doing any task or job.
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Benefits of Mindfulness:
The benefits of mindfulness meditation, as shown in research studies, include -
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Reduction of Pain
Greater Vigor and Acting with Awareness
Fewer Symptoms Associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Improved Mood and Mood Regulation
Decreased Blood Pressure
Strengthening of the Immune System
Increased Concentration and Focus
Reduced Symptoms of Depression
Reduction of Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms
Protection against Decreases in Working Memory
Sustained Attention Associated with High Stress