Mindfulness is an age-old practice that has more recently seen its moment in the spotlight. Mindfulness has several benefits that can enhance mental clarity and concentration, improve emotional intelligence, and help one find a way to relate to others through kindness, acceptance, and compassion.
Decreased Stress Levels
Mindfulness is key to reducing stress levels. When stressed, we can feel anxious and worried, irritable, annoyed, argumentative, restless, and have difficulty concentrating, maintaining focus and sleeping. Inducing a state of relaxation through mindfulness and meditation can increase attention and focus, lower blood pressure, increase immune functions, and calm the body.
Increased Emotional Regulation
Mindfulness also helps identify and manage emotions. When you are emotionally regulated, you maintain control over your own emotions. This plays a critical role in your overall health and how you handle difficult situations. When we cannot manage our emotions, it can result in depression.
Need to boost your memory? Mindfulness practices have been shown to result in a reduction of proactive interference and can improve short-term memory. Proactive interference can cause forgetfulness, and older memories you have can ultimately interfere with your mind’s ability to process new memories.
Better Cognitive Abilities
In addition to helping you focus your thoughts and regulate emotions, mindfulness also improves one’s cognitive abilities. Mindfulness changes the way we think, and with practice, we can become much more aware of our own thoughts and have more sustained attention, cognitive flexibility, and cognitive inhibition, where we can learn how to suppress those thoughts that could interfere with our focus.
Evidence has also shown that mindfulness can lead to a more positive impact on interpersonal relationships. A study from 2018 shows that people who practice mindfulness were also found to be much more accepting of their partner’s flaws and imperfections.
Better Overall Health
Research also has found that mindfulness helps with various physical symptoms we can experience. And since it can improve our mood and help combat stress, mindfulness practices are ideal for those with chronic pain.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Now that you know the benefits of mindfulness, you may be wondering how to get started. Start by setting some time aside to practice just being in the moment. Let any judgments pass you by. A good mindfulness practice is meditation. When we meditate, we reach into the inner workings of our mind and take notice of every sensation, emotion, and thought. Find a quiet place to reflect and practice deep breathing exercises.
Mala beads are useful for keeping track of mantra repetitions and help you maintain focus. With practice, mindfulness techniques will offer you all the benefits we outlined above.
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