Benefits of Mindfulness
Why may learning Mindfulness skills be helpful.
Mindfulness can be understood as a foundation for health. There are numerous emotional and physical health benefits including:
Feeling less stressed
Developing our resilience and ability to “bounce back” from the difficulties life can present us.
Feeling more relaxed
Increased self-awareness and confidence
Increased sense of wellbeing
Scientific evidence is growing which demonstrates that attention focused and compassion-based mindfulness practices change the brain in a positive way and help to:
Lower heart rate and blood pressure
Relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia
Increase ability to cope with difficult situations
Mindfulness is proven to be effective at reducing stress and is recommended in the UK by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for employees to improve workplace mental health and wellbeing. In addition NICE advocate mindfulness for the treatment of depression in adults as well as using mindfulness for many other conditions including: tinnitus distress, MS-related fatigue, self-management of angina, for the management of workplace stress in social care and is suggested as an option to offer adults with complex psychosis.
“Having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant. Now that’s a really cool way of taking care of your well-being.”
When may it not benefit us to learn mindfulness skills?
Contrary to popular opinion Mindfulness is not a quick fix or simply relaxation. Mindfulness enables us to become aware of our lives moment to moment just as it is, not necessarily how we want it to be. To learn mindfulness enables us to see the good, the bad and the ugly of our lives. This is not always easy as we may have developed habits of distraction and numbing out to help us cope with emotionally difficult experiences. These habits may have served us well and be long standing, however with Mindfulness training we begin to learn how to turn towards our experience even if it is difficult. Although this is done with compassion, kindness, and patience it requires courage and strength.
Therefore, for various reasons there are times in our lives when learning Mindfulness may not always be the right choice for us particularly if we have had a recent bereavement or an unresolved trauma.