Mindfulness, we talk about it on all sides. We know it's good to practice it, but do we really know the benefits?
I did some research to enlighten you on the subject.
Unsurprisingly, the practice of mindfulness improves an individual's sense of well-being. Indeed, this practice supports attitudes that contribute to happiness and a so-called “satisfying” way of life. It allows you to be fully present and engaged in your activities. Mindfulness also allows you to feel more confident when faced with stressful or difficult situations. This practice allows you to stop focusing on your past worries or future troubles. You will live your life in the moment, and that's it.
The practice of mindfulness in itself generates an increase in positive emotions, it's only good! Indeed, several studies confirm the importance of mindfulness in managing our perception of happiness. And this is crucial for our health. It may be pleasant to feel happiness, but it also has many benefits for our physical and mental health. It matters!
No need to train to improve your physical health!!
But still, the practice of mindfulness is proven to be an important factor in improving physical health. Notably by releasing stress, improving our sleep cycle, being beneficial for our heart health, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain and alleviating gastrointestinal difficulties.
In addition, this practice helps to fight obesity. Indeed, by practicing intuitive eating or “Mindful eating” (LINK) we encourage ourselves to adopt healthy eating habits while enjoying our food.
The physical health benefits of mindfulness don't stop there. Surprisingly, the practice would have a positive impact on the activity of an enzyme that controls cellular aging and therefore, aging itself.
Finally, mindfulness or the practice of “full awareness” optimizes our immune system…nothing less!
Mindfulness improves our ability to concentrate. Indeed, several studies suggest that it would help us detach ourselves from distractions, improve our memory and our attention span. This practice is interesting to help stabilize our emotions. Individuals who practice mindfulness experience a decline in emotional activity and an increase in cognitive activity. Interesting!
Mindfulness meditation is an important part of treatment plans for many psychotherapies around the world. It will be recognized to accompany the treatment of several mental disorders such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Some studies even show that the practice of mindfulness also has a positive impact in reducing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
It's all good!
Change our brain. For the best!
I spoke a little earlier about the benefits that mindfulness has on our memory and our emotions. In fact, there are even more cognitive benefits to explore about this practice.
This practice makes us better! Yes, some research suggests that mindfulness would make us more altruistic and conducive to helping someone in need. It would help us understand the suffering of others and boost our compassion. Both to others and to ourselves. Don't we all need a little more compassion towards ourselves?
Mindfulness even helps the longevity of couples. It would make them more satisfied with their relationship and make them more optimistic and relaxed about their issues. They become more accepting and feel closer to each other.
Finally, mindfulness improves our sense of creativity. I find this to be an important element that is so difficult to work with these days, in an era where we are bombarded with content and information in all directions. Practicing mindfulness reduces the effect of the wandering mind and increases your brain's ability to process new information. Which gives you the chance to get new ideas!
In short, if you are not practicing mindfulness yet, now is the time to get started! It's a small gold mine of benefits for your well-being as well as your mental and physical health. I strongly encourage you to explore this practice which is becoming more and more popular in North America!