“Wherever you are, be there totally.”
In this day and age, there’s a myriad of articles, tips, advice to focus on our mental state of mind in order to have more control, if not completely conquer. I myself have written countless posts on this topic for this site as well.
But why is that? To the best of my knowledge, none of us really possess an ability of telekinesis to where if smiling will magically get rid of a virus or a backache. And yet, there is more emphasis on a mind-body connection today then ever before.
What makes it so? What exactly makes the art of mindfulness so efficacious in practical terms?
While mindfulness may not be the last stop to perfect health, both mental and physical, it’s an important tollway along the way. Here are a few ways that mindfulness has proven to have physical benefits:
Get better sleep. What does a sleep-aid do? The intricacies may vary but basically, it numbs the mind to better access your melatonin. Mindfulness does the same in a natural way. Being calmer helps clear the clutter in your mind which in turn, helps you fall asleep better.
Think of solutions to problems faster. When we’re stuck in an endless cycle of grief, a way out seems impossible. This is obviously because the mind is so stressed. Mindfulness can help alleviate some of that stress which will give you a more clear perspective of the issue and hence, perhaps find an easier solution And this is not just an empty statement by new-age shopkeepers. In 2014, there were 47 clinical trials documented by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in which the results found that mindfulness meditation resulted in improvements in stress and overall reduction in levels of cortisol.
Manage chronic pain. The subject of chronic pain seems to have the most discrepancy when discussing anything conversation that validates the idea of mind over matter. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, simply smiling can’t scour every physical ailment. But that doesn’t nullify the effects. Blogger Suzanne Kane alluded to this topic in an article for pyschcentral.com in 2018. Kane spoke at length about how mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), therapy that combines mindfulness with yoga, resulted in significant improvement in pain and anxiety in several conducted studies.
Reduce depression. This point is personal to me for obvious reasons. To be clear, mindfulness has not proven to alleviate depression as much as prevent it. Still, I wish I was more familiar with the concept of mindfulness back when I was first clinically diagnosed. How much it would reduce the severity of it is questionable but I am certain that I could have found ways to cope with it better had I been more familiar with mindfulness.
If you take into account all four factors in totality, sleep, chronic pain, solutions and depression, that’s a significant portion of our everyday lives, which if addressed, could make a huge difference in our overall happiness.
How significant is mindfulness to you and why? Can it reduce physical ailments? Has that ever happened for you or someone you know? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.