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  • Writer's pictureTania King

7 scientific reasons that prove mindfulness is powerful self-care for your mind, body and spirit

Mindfulness is one of the most powerful self-care tools for reducing stress, feeling calm and focused and increasing enjoyment and appreciation.

Simply put, mindfulness is a way to focus your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Spiritual practitioners have practised its power for eons and in recent years science has been catching up. There’s now a plethora of research that shows how beneficial it can be for you mind, body and spirit.

7 evidence-based reasons mindfulness is good for you:

1. Stress reduction - A review of more than 200 studies of mindfulness showed that mindfulness-based therapy was effective for reducing stress, anxiety and depression. One research study concluded mindfulness has a moderate to “robust” effect on the same conditions. Mindfulness helps soothe your mind by providing a focus while centering breathing, which can help you naturally de-stress

2. Improves physical health - Studies have shown mindfulness practice helps manage chronic pain, encourage healthy eating habits, improve sleep quality and heighten immune function

3. Grows resilience - Several studies revealed mindfulness increases resilience to difficult emotions. Individuals can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down emotionally

4. Reduces rumination - A Yale research team showed mindfulness meditation quiets activity in the brain area known as the default mode network, which is most active when the brain is resting. Because ruminating is frequently associated with unhappy emotions, meditation encourages the mind to stay present or return quickly from wandering

5. Improves working memory - Multiple studies have shown that a practice of mindfulness meditation can improve working memory. Scientists found higher cortical thickness levels in the hippocampus, a brain region responsible for memory and learning.

6. Increases focus - Evidence indicates that people who meditate show an increase in attentional functioning and cognitive flexibility and an enhanced capacity to suppress distracting information.

7. Relationship satisfaction - Studies have found that those who practice mindfulness may possess a heightened ability to express themselves and their needs. Mindfulness can open new pathways for expression and a greater tolerance for emotional conflict, both of which allow more room for healthy and balanced relationships

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