Wellness Wednesday

The Health Benefits of Mindfulness on a Holistic Level

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, to be aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. It has many benefits for anyone who practices it as has been proven by many studies. Here we look at some of the health benefits.

Mindfulness reduces anxiety. In a study done by the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2013, 93 people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to either an 8-week group intervention program with mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or to a control group with stress management education (SME). The group that went through the MBSR program was associated with a significantly greater reduction in anxiety.

Mindfulness reduces stress. Tens of thousands of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practitioners have found the program to be effective in the past few decades. Mindfulness can also help alleviate stress through improving emotion regulation, leading to a better mood and better ability to handle stress.

Mindfulness enhances the ability to deal with illness. It does not take away the symptoms but it makes them more manageable. The eCALM trial, a therapy program for cancer patients, found that mindfulness can reduce symptoms of stress, and enhance spirituality and non-reactivity to experience. It also facilitates post-traumatic growth, and enhances vigor while relieving fatigue.

Mindfulness facilitates recovery. It helps a patient to deal with a chronic or potentially terminal illness or life-threatening event, and it can also help the patient to recover from it.

Mindfulness improves health generally. Studies have found that it can enhance behaviors that improve health such as getting regular exercise, getting regular check-ups, avoiding nicotine and alcohol and buckling up. It improves cardiovascular health through decreased smoking, increased exercise and maintenance of healthy weight. It lowers blood pressure through non-judgment and non-reactivity. For the obese mindfulness has been found to help with weight loss by decreasing depression and anxiety and improving eating behaviors and attitudes.

To benefit from mindfulness practice it regularly and often. It must become a lifestyle. Find:

  • A reason to practice mindfulness and let that reason motivate you every day.
  • The right attitude and attention for the practice.
  • The right duration and the right timing that works for you.
  • A comfortable and familiar spot and posture for your practice.

 

Stay Healthy and Happy 

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