Health trends come and go, they can be challenging to implement long-term, or carry a high price tag that isn’t manageable for most. But one trend for improving health that likely has staying power is mindfulness. Why? Because it’s easy to try, free or low-cost, and it now has plenty of evidence-based research backing it. Here are six ways that mindfulness has been shown to improve health.
Studies have shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction can be helpful to reduce symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, and depression.
A regular mindfulness practice can help to lower blood pressure and has been recommended by the American Heart Association as an adjunct treatment for heart disease.
Improved Immune Function
Regular meditation may help your body heal and fight disease. Studies have shown meditation to have a positive impact on immune response.
Meditation can reduce reactivity to stress or challenging situations, at the same time, it makes it easy to draw your attention back when distractions happen. This is why proponents of meditation say they experience a clear, focused mind is a benefit of the practice.
Increased Emotional Regulation and Self-Control
Mindfulness trains the practitioner to slow down and be in the present moment. By developing the skill of self-awareness and observation, you are able to be less reactive and more in control of emotions.
Slows Cell Aging
Cell aging occurs naturally over time and can increase with stress and disease. Research has shown that meditation could help slow this process.
Now that you know some of the physical and mental benefits of mindfulness, it’s time to integrate it into your life. Building a mindfulness practice can happen over time. You can start small with just a few minutes of meditation each day. Begin by sitting calmly and breathing slow with your eyes closed, for just a few minutes. Add this into your morning routine or a time of the day that makes sense for you. If you need more guidance, try a yoga, tai chi, or qi gong class to adopt mindfulness techniques. Practice builds consistency, but for most people, it will take time to build your practice, so be patient with yourself. Even 20 minutes a day can have a huge benefit on your overall well-being.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness-based stress reduction, check out our videos page or reach out to Dr. Shala for more information.