In recent years, the practice of Mindfulness has become more and more popular, with the increase of retreats, classes and even mindfulness apps. But what are the benefits and why should we give it a try?
Being mindful of your thoughts is good for you well-being
Not to be confused with the idea of controlling your thoughts or rigidness, mindfulness is instead a state that is best described with actions of openness, reflection and acceptance. Studies have shown a strong link to the practice of mindfulness having a positive effect on many things, including life satisfaction and overall well-being.
Mindfulness is not a new idea; it has been practiced in Buddhism for thousands of years. In this day, we have come to realize that simply taking the time to be mindful can massively reduce stress, anxiety and illness.
Improving working memory
Working memory is the part of the brain that stores information temporarily for future recall. People how have taken the opportunity to participate in mindfulness report an increase in their ability to memories information in day to day life, with increased recall time and accuracy.
A preventative of depression
Studies have shown that people who are taught Mindfulness at a young age are less likely to suffer from stress and depressive symptoms, and that becoming open and accepting to your thoughts and emotions has a huge positive impact on your mental state. It is suggested that the act of mindfulness may protect a person from the onset of depression.
You become more resilient
Resilience is defined as ‘ a persons the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and toughness’. Our brain is extremely clever, and has the ability to remember past experiences and use this to choose the best possible option in a current situation. It suggested that mindfulness practice creates higher activity in the brain and results in increased performance in self-regulation and resisting distractors. Meaning that with mindfulness we can begin to change the way we see and deal with negative situations and respond to setbacks.
Mindfulness increases your happiness levels
Our brain has a left and right hemisphere. The front section of our brain shows high activity when we are in a low or worried mood. When we are in a happy and satisfied mood we have activity in the prefrontal section. When studied, the two sections can show us our happiness set-point during our day to day life. When practicing meditation and mindfulness, we see a large upsurge in the prefrontal during meditation and for a long time afterward. This shows that even short-term mindfulness participation can result in a rise in our contentment level.
So there you have it, just a handful of positive reason to give mindfulness a go. We would love to hear about your personal experience with mindfulness and if you have found increased well-being and happiness and reduced stress.