Mindfulness Matters: How It Impacts Your Mental Health
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Recently, many people have started to better understand and acknowledge the importance of their mental health. In doing so, mindfulness has become a hot topic and more common practice. In today’s blog post, I want to explore the meaning of mindfulness and discuss how it positively influences your mental health.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is commonly defined as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It requires awareness, openness, and acceptance. It allows you to recognize and name your emotions, concerns, negative self-talk, and more in an adaptable manner. In turn, this willingness helps you accept your current circumstances instead of ignoring or fighting against them. Ultimately, mindfulness is a powerful form of self-care, enabling you to change deep-rooted habits and reactions and form a new, more thoughtful perspective.
One way to increase your mindfulness is through meditation. There are science-based benefits of a regular meditation practice, including stress reduction, pain control, increased strength, sleep improvements, and decreased blood pressure. Even five minutes a day can make a notable impact on both your mental and physical health! Note that a mindfulness practice is a great habit to include in your daily routine but should never replace professional help.
Three Ways That Mindfulness Positively Impacts Your Mental Health
Mindfulness is a powerful tool when it comes to your overall well being. Here are three ways that it specifically improves your mental health:
It is an effective solution for stress management: It’s no secret that stress takes a toll on your body and mind. Through mindfulness, you can learn how to relax your body and mind during and after stressful events, allowing you to better control your behaviors and reactions.
It can help you cope with depression: Mindfulness allows you to better handle your emotions too, which in turn can help you better cope with depression, a condition that affects nearly eight percent of the population. One common form of treatment for depression is dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). This psychotherapy approach incorporates mindfulness and encourages patients to accept their negative thoughts in an effort to better face daily challenges. You learn to be focused on the present moment instead of falling into feelings of sadness and despair.
It teaches you how to handle life’s ups-and-downs: Mindfulness is an important skill for coping with loss, trauma, and loneliness — feelings that many of us have come face-to-face with throughout the pandemic. By incorporating this practice into your daily routine, you can achieve a wider sense of connection and self-compassion as well as a reduction of future fears and past regrets.