Benefits of a Committing to a Mindfulness Program
Mindfulness is consciously focusing on the current moment and accepting it without judgment. Mindfulness is now receiving scientific research and is essential to stress reduction and overall well-being. The benefits of regular mindfulness practice are scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve memory, reduce anxiety and depression, enhance emotion regulation, and increase empathy. Common mindfulness practice ultimately develops the ability to live in awareness and witness one's stream of consciousness moment by moment.
Does Mindfulness Work?
Some experts believe mindfulness's role is to help people accept their experiences – including painful emotions – rather than responding with disgust and avoidance.
Mindfulness meditation combined with psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy, is becoming more common. This development makes sense because meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy share a common goal of helping people understand irrational, maladaptive, and self-destructive thoughts.
Benefits of Mindfulness
The cultivation of mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism. Still, most religions include some prayer or meditation technique that helps you shift your focus from your daily pursuits to appreciating the present moment and your larger perspective on life. Mindfulness can improve physical and psychological symptoms and positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors. Improving your mindfulness supports the attitudes that contribute to a happy life. Here are a few more benefits of mindfulness.
Mindfulness can improve mental health. In recent years, psychotherapists have used mindfulness meditation to treat various issues, like depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couple conflict, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Mindfulness can improve physical health. If better health isn't enough of a motivator, scientists have discovered several ways that mindfulness techniques can help improve physical health.
- Help reduce stress.
- Treat heart disease.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Relieve chronic pain.
- Improve sleep.
- Ease gastrointestinal distress.
Quality of Life
Mindfulness makes it easier to enjoy life, helps you fully participate in activities, and increases your ability to deal with adverse events. By concentrating on the here and now, those who practice mindfulness are often less likely to dwell on worries about the future or regrets about the past, are less preoccupied with self-esteem and success, and are more able to form deep connections with others.
You can cultivate mindfulness through mindfulness meditation, a systematic approach to focusing your attention. All mindfulness techniques are meditation. You can learn to meditate by following instructions in a book or on tape. However, you can benefit from support from a lecturer or small group to answer your questions and keep you motivated. Look for people who use meditation in a way that matches your beliefs and goals.
In addition to meditation, you can cultivate mindfulness by focusing on how you feel in the present moment during your daily activities. This is accomplished through single-tasking or doing one thing at a time and with undivided attention. When you brush your teeth, play with the dog or eat a snack, slow down the process and pay attention as it unfolds and engages all your senses.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness can be accomplished in a few ways. Still, the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve an alert, focused state of relaxation by consciously paying attention to thoughts and feelings without judgment. This refocuses the mind on the present moment. Here are some of the most common mindfulness techniques:
Sitting quietly and focusing on your natural breathing or the word or "mantra" you are silently repeating. Let your thoughts come and go without judgment, then focus on your breath or mantra.
Feeling and releasing subtle physical sensations, such as itching or tingling, without judgment. Notice each part of your body in turn, from head to toe.
Recognize sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Call them "seeing," "hearing," "smelling," "tasting," or "feeling" without judgment, and let them go.
Allow emotions to exist without judgment. Practice naming emotions evenly and loosely: "joy," "anger," and "frustration." Accept the feeling as it exists without judgment, then let it go.
Managing and allowing cravings (for addictive substances or addictive behaviors). Notice how your body feels when the craving hits. Replace the desire for it to go away with knowing that it will go away.
Certain types of meditation primarily involve concentration — repeating a phrase or focusing on the sensation of breathing, leading to the inevitable parade of thoughts that come and go. Mindfulness meditation techniques and other activities like yoga to tai chi can induce the well-known relaxation response, which can help reduce the body's response to stress.
Mindfulness meditation builds on the practice of concentration. Here's how it works:
- Let nature take its course. In mindfulness meditation, once you build focus, you can visualize the flow of your emotions, inner thoughts, and bodily sensations without judging them as positive or negative.
- Be attentive. You also perceive external sensations such as sounds, sights, and touches that make up your moment-to-moment experience. The challenge is not to cling to a particular thought, emotion, or feeling or to get caught up in contemplating the past or the future. Instead, watch what comes and goes in your mind to discover which mental habits produce feelings of happiness or pain.
- Stick with it. At times, this process may not seem easy, but over time, as you become comfortable with an ever-expanding range of experiences, it can provide the key to greater well-being and self-awareness.
Most importantly, mindfulness involves accepting whatever is present in your awareness in each moment. It's about being kind and gentle with yourself. Some tips to remember:
- When your mind wanders in planning, daydreaming, or criticism, notice where it goes and gently redirect it to the present feeling.
- If you miss a scheduled meditation session, start over.
By practicing acceptance of your experiences in meditation, you will become more accepting of whatever comes your way throughout the day.
Our Mindfulness Program
Mindfulness practice is learning to spotlight the present and let the moment be as it is. Mindful Living Group's mission is to make mindfulness programs and services more accessible so people, families, and groups can experience their proven benefits. Each professional on the team has developed a robust and compassionate mindfulness practice to help our clients achieve optimal well-being.
The science behind the benefits of mindfulness practice has proven its effectiveness. Scientific evidence shows that employing mindfulness practices has many benefits. You can practice mindfulness to:
- Manage stress
- Increase self-compassion
- Improve interpersonal relationship
- Increase overall well-being
- Alleviate physical and psychological symptoms
- Improve your ability to cope with difficult life transitions
- Cope better with illness and chronic pain
- Increase your joy of life
We provide mindfulness training, keynote speeches, and public speaking services for various purposes, including Hawaiian medicine, spirituality, accelerated learning, mental health, community, and culture. We provide speaking opportunities for Medtronic and other public and private health, business and wellness groups. Click here to learn more about our program.