Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. (Definition given by Mindful.org)
According to me, it is a practice of maintaining a complete non-judgmental state of awareness of one’s thought and emotions.
Also, many of us confuse mindfulness and meditation. In simple words, meditation is one of the ways to achieve mindfulness, or we can say; mindfulness is a quality whereas meditation is a practice.
So here the question comes, what are the benefits of practicing mindfulness?
Well, to be honest, there are numerous. And seeing the popularity of the topic in positive psychology, we’ll probably be seeing a lot more to come. Have look at the graph below for example.
Mentioned below are just a few examples of what researchers have found.
1) Reduced emotional ‘reactivity’
In an emotional interference task conducted by Ortner and colleagues in 2007, participants with wide-ranging experience in mindfulness meditation were asked to categorize tones that were given either 1 or 4 seconds after a neutral or emotionally upsetting picture was presented.
The ones with more experience of practicing mindfulness-based mediation showed greater focus on the task even when emotionally upsetting pictures were shown.
2) Enhanced visual attention processing
A study by Hodgins and Adair in 2010 has confirmed that those who practiced mindfulness-based mediation have shown better performance on tests of concentration, selective attention, and more.
3) Managing physical pain
Some research has also shown that mindfulness may have a role in helping with the management of physical pain.
4) Improved working memory
According to a study by Jha and colleagues in 2010, mindfulness is practically linked to enhanced working memory capacity.
According to the study, participants who practiced mindfulness-based meditation for 8 weeks have shown improvement in their working memory capacity.
5) Reduced stress
Bränström et al.(2010), found cancer patients who took part in mindfulness-based training have shown remarkably reduced self-reported stress than those who didn’t.
So these were a few of the many examples. Individuals who want to practice mindfulness can find many mindfulness-based training online and practice it on their own. Practicing mindfulness on a day-to-day basis is a great way to improve one’s well-being.