If you’ve never tried mindfulness before, you might be reluctant to give it a go. There are lots of ways practising mindfulness can improve your physical and mental health. Here are just some of them.
If you’re wondering, is mindfulness evidence based? You’ll find that there are lots of guides and studies which show positive results gained from practising mindfulness.
One of these is stress reduction, whether directly or indirectly. Taking regular moments throughout the day to meditate or just quiet your mind can relieve stress. It can also work indirectly, by improving the way you manage pain, so it relieves the stress caused by this pain. Achieving awareness of specific emotions and feelings can help to deal with this effectively.
By spending more time on ourselves, we can learn how to manage stress, deal with pain and become more resilient. In addition to taking prescribed medication, we can focus on our mental and emotional needs. Mindfulness takes us away from the urgency of day-to-day tasks, even if it’s just for a short time. This allows us to concentrate on healing and coping.
When we’re in the moment, it’s easy to react without thinking. So taking some time to be aware of yourself and your surroundings can be beneficial. It’s something people struggle with because they are used to getting instant results, but the outcome can be more useful in the long term and help you work towards lasting goals.
Using mindfulness to reduce stress and pain, while improving our resilience, can increase productivity too. The simple reason for this is because it’s easier to get things done when you feel happier, are in less pain and are able to deal with problems better.
Without practising mindfulness, pain can be overwhelming, unexpected problems can throw us off our train of thought, and stress can obscure our thinking. In turn, this aggravates stress and pain, making it difficult to see a solution. It’s a vicious circle that can be broken with mindfulness.
Just like our bodies need to rest at night, our minds need to switch off sometimes too. If you work in a manual job that requires little thinking, you’ll take regular breaks to eat and drink, giving your body the rest and nourishment it needs.
If you’re working in a role that requires constant thinking such as creativity or solving difficult problems, your mind needs a break too. Some of us don’t take this break, but taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body.
To avoid burnout, it’s important to sit still and let your mind rest for short intervals. This could be meditation, listening to soothing music or anything else which relaxes you and doesn’t require too much thought.
Mindfulness, alongside other treatments or medication, can go a long way to improve physical and mental health, and increase resilience. With so many benefits to be gained, it’s worth trying, and it could take less time than you think.