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Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

There is a reason why Mindfulness has been practiced for thousands of years. The widespread profound benefits to physical health, mental health, wellbeing and our ability to function intelligently and effectively are now conclusively proven. So much scientific research, clinical trials and more recently advanced brain-scanning technology attest to the value of Mindfulness Training on our body / mind / heart organism and its ability to transform our lives and be tremendously healing.

Exactly, what is Mindfulness Meditation?

Just to be clear on what we understand as Mindfulness Meditation? It is typically defined as is the practice of purposely focusing attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment.

Though often describes as ‘non-doing’, the idea that nothing is happening couldn’t be further from the truth.  Research shows that even a short period of meditation directly affects the function and structure of the brain, changing it in ways that appear to increase attention span, sharpen focus and improve memory. Participation in an 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction/Cognitive Therapy (MBSR/MBCT) programme is associated with more dense gray matter in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking and less dense gray matter in the amygdala—the part of the brain associated with fear and stress. So, how we choose to maintain our minds changes how we relate to thought, emotion and much more…

“I am changing the way I see the world and my own difficulties in particular. I am more aware of myself, my body, how I relate to everything. More positive, more real, not worrying about the past or the future as before. ” Participant, 2014

Mindfulness improves physical health in a number of ways including:

  • Reversing heart disease
  • Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
  • Elevating immune system function
  • Improving management of pain
  • Less frequency and duration of illness
  • Fighting inflammation
  • Alleviating gastrointestinal difficulties and asthma

Mindfulness improves mental health

mindfulness improves mental health

Acceptance of ‘what is’ rather than our more typical patterns of resistance and struggling endlessly for ‘what should be’ or what should have been’ lead to better mental health

  • Lessening anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression
  • Increasing self awareness and emotional regulation
  • Raising mental functioning, intelligence, focus, memory
  • Reducing tension, irritabilityand fatigue
  • Ability to manage and cope with stress, difficulty, pain and low mood

“I learned how to put distance between cause and reaction, I can now stop and breath and choose my response. I’m not striving and list making, if things don’t get done, no problem! I learned self compassion and the skills to breath and relax. Loved every minute of the course.” Participant 2014

Mindfulness improves sense of wellbeing

Participants of an MBSR course say that they feel lighter and more relaxed and these feelings last:

  • Greater vitality, enthusiasm and happiness
  • Calmer and able to deal with stress and challenges
  • More insight, creativity, clarity
  • Self accepting and self confident
  • Enjoy enhanced interpersonal relationships
  • Improvements in sleep, eating, digestion,exercise habits
  • Helps smoking cessation efforts
  • Re-awakened sense of meaning and purpose in life.

 “I found this course liberating. I can say that I am more in touch with myself and have stopped, woken up from a coma! Joanne has a lovely calm voice and is very open and flexible, makes everyone feel great. Many thanks for making a difference to my life. It’s much appreciated!”     Participant 2013

Read: Why Mindfulness Works? Why people discover a Mindfulness Course to be life-changing…

This blog was written by Joanne O’Malley, Mindfulness and Compassion. We offer a range of Mindfulness Courses to individuals, groups and organisations.

 

For more information

Please don’t hesitate to contact Joanne if you have any query?

 

 

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Joanne_large_transparentMindfulness at Work was set up by Joanne O'Malley to provide high quality Mindfulness Training. Research shows Mindfulness is effective to reduce stress, increase self awareness and deal more effectively with the demanding context in which we work and live... >> more

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These six weeks have been a beautiful journey. I am leaving light and happy filled with the hope and desire to use meditation to keep helping me to stay mindful moment by mome…
Vanessa