Mindfulness, is a term that was widespread in the last couple of years, but do you know what it means?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.
It is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and engage with the world around you.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is associated with some health benefits, such as:
1. Increase Working Memory function
Mindfulness meditation has been empirically linked to enhanced working memory capacity. A study found evidence to suggest that mindfulness training helped ‘buffer’ against losses to working memory capacity.
They also found that working memory capacity also increased as the first group practiced mindfulness meditation.
2. Enhanced Metacognitive Awareness
This means being able to detach from one’s own feelings and mental processes—to step back and perceive them as transient, momentary occurrences rather than ‘who we are’.
3. Lower Levels of Anxiety and stress
Studies showed that practicing mindfulness helps in lowering levels of Anxiety and stress.
Mindfulness has also been linked to lower stress levels. It helps in displaying greater positive states of mind and fewer post-traumatic avoidance symptoms.
4. Managing Physical Pain
There is also research that suggests mindfulness may have a role in helping to manage subjective pain. Mindfulness may help to manage chronic pain and help patients improve their quality of life.
5. Other health benefits of Mindfulness:
- Enhance performance,
- Gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind,
- increase our attention to others’ well-being.