Meta Description: Mindfulness promotes metacognitive awareness and decreases rumination. It can also make your brain younger. Check more benefits of this mediation.
In the busy world of today, we are always multitasking. Folding laundry and keeping an eye on the kids. Driving to work and planning your weekend. Reading a blog about Spectrum internet prices while talking to your spouse (guilty!). Can you relate? In the rush to accomplish the necessary task, often, we end up losing connection with the present, the current moment. Doing so, we miss out on what we are doing and how we are feeling.
A simple way to break this is by practicing mindfulness. It’s a perfect getaway to reduce stress and achieve prosperity.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Are you sure what mindfulness means? Let’s verify that.
It’s the practice of focusing on being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the moment minus judgment and interpretation. Mindfulness involves breathing, guided imagery, and other practices for putting the mind at ease, relaxing the body, and reducing stress.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Now that we are clear about the meaning of mindfulness, let’s examine its benefits:
1: Makes the Brain Younger
A neuroscientist conducted research to determine if mediation can change the brain over the long run. He found that 50-year-old meditators had the same number of brain cells as 25 years old, which tends to decline with age under normal circumstances. This showed that regular mediation can slow down neural degeneration!
2: Better Pain Tolerance
Another study conducted concluded that after 4 days of mindfulness mediation, the participants found their painful sensations to be 57 percent less hot than before.
Sounds too good to be true, right? But it is. As you learn to meditate, the brain starts separating the physical sensation of pain from the emotional reaction to it. Most of the suffering one experiences are the result of the psychological reaction, not the pain itself.
3: Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Millions of people in the present times are suffering from depression and anxiety. Therapists recommend practicing mindfulness to combat mental health problems. Mindfulness teaches you to identify the source of the anxiety and detach yourself from it.
4: Become More Self-Aware
Every meditator agrees that at some point, they reach the level where they are more self-aware.
When you sit and direct your attention inward, you are also trained in the art of self-awareness. Psychologists call it introspective metacognitive awareness. In other words, the mind learns to observe itself.
5: Improved Concentration and Working Memory
Working memory refers to the ability to hold something in the mind for the short-term. Unfortunately, in the current times, this ability seems to be declining. For instance, can you remember a 7digit number phone if I ask you to?
Practicing mindfulness improves cognitive functioning. Instead of drinking coffee to stay awake and get good test scores, try meditation.
6: Reduce Stress
Unfortunately, the modern world has given us lots of stress. From unreturned text messages to getting jammed in the traffic, even the little things can elevate the stress. As a result, the brain cannot tell the difference between minor issues and problems that actually require panicking.
Mindfulness helps your brain to relax and deal with stressful situations more mindfully, putting you in control of the situation.
7: Improved General Health
Mindfulness isn’t all about mental health benefits. It has a significant role in improving general well-being.
For instance, mindfulness impacts your health behaviors. As you become self-aware, you become physically active, get regular health checkups, avoid unhealthy drinks and food, and even start using a seat belt.
This form of meditation can also improve cardiovascular health as you let go of habits such as smoking and drinking and make healthy choices instead. As you continue to make healthier decisions, your BMI may improve and might as well be able to control your blood pressure.
So Get Started
Mindfulness is centered on concentration. You can either repeat a phrase or focus on breathing, allowing your thoughts to come and go. For better concentration, follow concentration techniques such as yoga and Tai Chi to put your mind and body at ease.
Then, pay attention to the external sensations like sight, sound and touch. Initially, this process may not seem relaxing at all but keep practicing and you will get there.
Give it 15 minutes a day and once you are done, go about your routine. I was surprised that mindfulness also helped me purchase the right Internet plan. I was able to focus on my needs and that made it easier to make the final decision.