Mindfulness has been a great focus of research over the last couple fo decades. That said, the scientific research is lacking in rigour in some areas. Here are a few largely held believes on the benefits of Mindfulness.
A habit of mindfulness creates a general improvement in well-being. The ability to consciously absorb more of what is happening in each moment leads to a greater sense of fulfilment and appreciation of events, people and achievements.
Mindfulness creates a more general state of seeing thoughts as ‘just thoughts’. A more mindful person can recognise a state of rumination over past or future events.
Pressure + Rumination = Stress
Stress releases cortisol into the body. Continuous stress levels increase the risks of many medical conditions and reduce life-span.
Mindfulness helps us to understand events for what they are, rather than how our perception overlays events.
In our mind if the boss doesn’t say ‘Hi’ it means they hated the report you gave them or they are avoiding you as you haven’t got that promotion. The reality maybe very different. They may have been late for a meeting or hadn’t wanted to interrupt you.
The important part is that the first perceived interpretation will be felt as emotion and release exactly the same hormones into the body as it would if it were true. The brain can’t decipher fact from fiction in its storytelling.
Mindfulness can lead to increased focus and attention, something the modern world is determined to undermine with constant distractions. The practise of mindful meditation leads to grater impulse and habit control. Each time you reach for your phone, is it a habit, impulse or something you consciously decided to do?
Mindfulness leads to greater performance often by creating a more open (rather than closed) mindset. With mindfulness, there is a tendency to focus on what you can do rather than what life is doing to you.
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
- Marcus Aurelius
Based on creating a more open growth mindset, mindfulness often leads to more creative thinking and problem-solving. A mindset of possibilities and action rather than one of looking
Increased Academic performance
The combination of lowered stress, increased focus and growth-mindset contribute to increased academic performance. Mindful awareness leads to ‘better choices’ in choosing to study when it is needed and reducing the procrastination which often leads students to not make a start on assignments, study or revision.
Literally re-wire our brain and thinking
Our brains are constantly under construction. Neuroplasticity is the name for the brains ability to constantly adapt. Each time we process or action upon something new connection is created or an old connection reinforced.
In meditation, the act of bringing focus back to our breath each time we realise we are caught up in thoughts, reinforces the capability to catch thoughts and decide what to do with them.