Mindfulness is the practice of intentional, nonjudgmental focus on one’s awareness. It involves living in the present moment and accepting things as they come. Mindfulness can be practiced at any time, and you don’t need anything other than your own determination and attention to practice this. Time Magazine states that more and more practices such as yoga and meditation have been used in the United States, as people are catching on to numerous benefits. It is said that mindfulness can decrease stress, enhance mental health and functioning, increase emotion regulation, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and much more. Many have testified to these benefits, but what does science say about it?
First, several studies have examined the affect that mindfulness has on the brain’s activity. The results have shown that after mindfulness-based practices, the left frontal activity of the brain is enhanced, meaning that our minds become more open to approaching a challenging situation rather than moving away from one.
Secondly, not only is our ability to work through challenging situations enhanced, but our immune system improves. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California found that those who practice mindfulness experienced an improved immune system – even those with HIV. Mindfulness helps the body to rejuvenate and enhance healing.
Thirdly, a pilot study conducted at the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center found that individuals with attention-deficit problems gained more attention and clarity from mindfulness than from their medication. Mindfulness helps us slow down our attention and focus in on what is needed at the time.
Fourth, Mindful.org states that mindfulness has been shown to be effective in treatment programs for obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and drug addiction. Yet another study conducted by researchers in Toronto found that after an 8-week mindfulness-based program, participants were able to distinguish their “mental chatter” from their “here and now” experience. Being able to identify the differences between these means that individuals were able to cut down on the inner criticisms that disrupt daily tasks. This could be a major advancement towards helping people work past rumination, criticism, and self-destructive habits.
Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of mindfulness. If you haven’t yet, seek out some mindfulness-based practices such as meditation, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, qigong, centering prayer, chanting, and more. If you are considering seeking treatment, find a program that can offer you group or individual classes and/or resources based on mindfulness.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center. If you’re ready to begin your journey to recovery and develop the tools you need to succeed and overcome life’s obstacles, call us today at 888-743-0490 for a consultation. Simple Recovery offers mindfulness practice to those who wish to experience the numerous benefits that it can bring.