Moving in the fast lane of life, we always have eyes for what lies ahead. In pursuit of things that would likely secure our future, we often fail to grasp the preciousness of the present moments. While flitting between tasks, our minds move ahead of time in the near or far future. We worry about things that have yet to happen and fret over the past we can not change. Mindfulness is complete awareness of what is happening in the present, your surroundings, your emotions, and what space you are moving through in life without a judgmental eye. The concept seems straightforward, except for the annoying fact that we have a high tendency to veer from the matters at hand. However, to fully appreciate the wonders of mindfulness, it is necessary to experience them first. Here are some points to introduce you to some of its benefits.
- Helps in Addiction Treatment:
Recovery from addiction is physically challenging and mentally draining. That is why patients with a substance abuse disorder usually tumble and resort to a relapse. Swinging between doing the right thing or listening to your body, you might be unable to discern things. It will be a good idea to sit down for a while and quiet your disturbing mental voices. By doing this, you can start your journey towards serenity and tranquility, which is often the reason people resort to drug abuse in the first place. Although mindfulness meditation is not difficult itself, you might need some guidance if it is your first time practicing it. So while choosing a rehab facility, go for the one that includes meditation in their treatment program, such as the Delphi Health Group, and give your recovery process formidable support.
Another way by which mindfulness helps in addiction treatment is by clearing away the fog in your mind and helping you understand your reaction to things. After calmly assessing situations that might have led to addiction in the past, you might be able to let go of them more easily. Reaching new realizations will help you put your problems in the background and focus on improving the present.
- Improves the Memory:
Since we tend to live in the past and future more than the present, it becomes difficult to encode and retrieve memories from the very moment. The jumbling thoughts in our minds limit our access to the newer memories, making us forget little things. When your friend or family member changes their phone number, you immediately replace it with a new one in your mobile phone memory. But have you ever noticed how difficult it is to replace that old number in your memory? This problem, also known as proactive interference, becomes prominent when trying to learn new information and can be overcome by mindfulness.
Another reason is the lack of focus. While hustling with tasks, we tend to overlook things and shove them at the back of our minds, anxious to get the next one done. The result is your mind often ‘skips’ things without the help of reminders and notes.
Mindfulness helps with our short-term memories by redirecting the mind to the present. It refocuses us on what is happening around us by shutting down all the distracting thoughts. Scientifically speaking, mindfulness increases blood flow of the brain, promoting health. It also increases the volume of the hippocampus, the region of your brain that has a role in both short-term and long-term memories, leaving long-lasting effects on your brain.
- Reduces Depression:
We often encounter situations and experiences in life that we do not pause to comprehend and react to instantaneously. When these events threaten to damage your mental sanctity, mindfulness serves to be a mood booster. It can help slow down things for you to mull over and reassess your reactions towards them. Refocusing on your awareness of present feelings without getting overwhelmed and judgemental will lift anxiety and stress, which are the triggers of depression. It can change how you think about situations and your pessimistic approach toward them. By being mindful of the present experiences, you might notice the wonderful sensory experiences of daily life you were oblivious to before. When you allow those positive vibes to flow through you, the world might not seem such a bad place.
- Improves Physical Well-being:
Since our mental and physical health is intricately woven together, improving your psychological well-being means better body functioning in both sickness and health. Upscaling your stress management techniques through mindfulness lowers cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure. The focused approach of mindfulness also promotes healthy habits that increase your overall wellness, such as sticking to a balanced diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. In addition to promoting health, mindfulness also makes terminal diseases more manageable by decreasing the intensity of chronic pains.
- Helps You Sleep Better:
If you crawl under the covers with hundreds of worries clogging your mind, they will deprive you of peaceful sleep and leave you tossing and turning around your bed for the rest of the night. Without a good night’s sleep, you know your entire day will be a mess as it will highly compromise your productivity. You surely would not want to take a fresh start to your day with an exhausted mind.
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, mindfulness meditation can help trigger your body’s relaxation response, reducing the hyper-arousal state of your brain. It will clear your mind and calm your nerves which is conducive to sleep. It lowers stress hormones, slows your breathing, and quiets the mental chatter that may keep you awake at night. This state of awareness and acceptance of the present decreases psychological distress and regulates your emotional state.
While constantly worrying about what lies ahead and regretting what has passed, we often forget the importance of the present. However, it is the only thing we have in our hands and making the most of it is the only way to improve our daily lives. If you have a habit of zoning out of your present, start practicing mindfulness and experience noticeable changes in your life. Shut down the doors to the thoughts that steer away your focus from things that matter the most. With constant practice, you will see the world, and your life, with more clarity.
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