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What began as one of the seven factors of enlightenment according to Buddhist teachings, Mindfulness Meditation is quickly spreading throughout Western society as a way to become more focused and relaxed mentally.
Scientific research has confirmed many of the benefits of Mindfulness including motivation, empathy, and the regulation of emotions. People of all ages and all walks of life can realize the mental and physical benefits of Mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
In its simplest terms, Mindfulness involves living in the present moment, and paying special attention to whatever it is you are currently doing. If you’re eating an apple, closely examine the color and texture of its flesh, the smell, and the crunch as you bite into it. Notice if it’s sweet, sour, or somewhere in between. Savor every bite and keep your mind focused on the apple as you eat it.
As you eat the apple, free your mind from external distractions, such as what you need to do at work later in the day, or what you’ll wear to work. Your entire focus should be directed at the simple act of eating, and enjoying the apple.
This practice should be extended to all aspects of your life to maximize your focus on the task at hand. As you become more in tune with the present, you will experience better concentration and more enjoyment of all aspects of your life.
It may not be possible for many of us to do this during the entire day, but it’s important to take at least a few minutes of every day to be present in the moment. Over time, you’ll find that it’s possible to incorporate this way of experiencing the world into more of your daily life.
The Mental Benefits of Mindfulness include:
- Improved Academic Performance
- Decreased Depression
- Less Anxiety
- Improvement of Memory Loss
- Regulation of Emotions
- Decrease in Negative Effects of PTSD
- Fights Stress
The Physical Benefits of Mindfulness include:
- Decrease in Inflammation
- Reduces Heart Disease
- Fights Pain
- Reduction of Arthritis Symptoms
- Aids Weight Loss
- Improves Sleep
- Shortens Cold and Flu Duration
Mindfulness can easily be practiced by virtually anyone, at any time of the day, and it is recommended to be incorporated into everyone’s daily routine. Being present in the here and now, free from distraction, can be a freeing and enlightening experience to a person, and will continue to spread throughout a person’s outlook on both work and play.
Crammed schedules and an over commitment of time have led to a society filled with stress and depression today. But taking time out, even if only a few minutes a day to reflect on the present, can work wonders on the mind and body.
Cognitive Behavioral Techniques are now incorporating Mindfulness into daily practice because the research shows it works.
Below is an infographic about Mindfulness Meditation from Health Central that how it works and what it helps.
As you can see from the information presented above, the benefits of Mindfulness show great promise from a holistic viewpoint for everyone. Often times, it’s the simplest things that have the greatest impact on our health and well-being.