When attempting to juggle the demanding pressures of work, family and a social life while simultaneously maintaining a balanced lifestyle, there is no wonder that more people are resorting to mindfulness meditation to provide them with a daily fix of clarity. It only requires a few minutes of your precious time, and the benefits are truly worth every minute. So what do these benefits include?
Meditation can assist your mental and physical health in just some of these ways:
- Reduces anxiety and depression
Practicing mindfulness meditation is beneficial in assisting to combat negative and worrisome thoughts which sufferers of anxiety and depression will often experience. Mediation can present an escape from these harrowing thoughts through guiding the person to live in the moment as opposed to contemplating past regrets and future concerns.
- Improves quality of sleep
Mindfulness meditation assists in removing troublesome thoughts from one’s mind through a focus on one’s breathing and directing your thoughts to the present. This reduces sleep disturbances as reinforced through a 2015 US randomised clinical trial, where those who practiced mindfulness before sleep achieved less sleep disturbance on average than those who were taught to improve their sleep habits.
- Enhances concentration
As meditation focuses on increasing your attention span, it essentially increases your ability to concentrate. Hence this leads to higher productivity and has also been attributed to boost efficiency while multi-tasking, as found by UW Information School professors in 2012.
- Reduces pain
There has been evidence to demonstrate that those who often engage in mindfulness meditation will be able to experience less pain than those who do not, as they are able to direct their attention away from the source of the pain and rather focus on their breathing. Experts say that setting aside a few minutes per day to relax and concentrate on your breathing pattern can be useful in relieving chronic pain such as arthritis.
- Aids in weight loss
Meditation can aid in managing your eating habits and cravings through increasing your awareness. Cravings will decrease if you are more in tune with your body and can recognise when you are hungry or not. Being aware will also prevent you from consuming sugary or processed foods, as you will ask yourself whether you truly need it before you grab it from the pantry. Meditation also combats stress which can be the cause of binge-eating.
- Treats addictions
Similarly to the previous point, mindfulness meditation can teach you to control your cravings by detaching yourself from these cravings and lowering stress. If you are able to direct your attention away from these cravings, meditation can assist in treating addictions from binge-eating and drinking to drugs and smoking.
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