You watch a webinar while working on a project due for work. You join in on a conference call while driving on your way to run a few errands. You scroll through social media while your favorite television series plays in the background. Does this sound familiar?
Juggling your time and attention has made many self-proclaimed multitaskers believe they are lacking if they fail to complete the myriad of tasks demanded of them in daily schedules.
The concept that multitasking is a positive life and work skill has resulted in many individuals feeling overly stressed, anxious, depressed, and inadequate, all while damaging their mental health.
Therefore, with this decline in mental health, it is time to adjust your focus from multitasking and turn the lens toward the significance of mindfulness.
Why Does Mindfulness Matter?
Over the past few decades, the interest in mindfulness meditation as a psychological concept and clinical intervention has attracted increasing cultural and scientific significance.
The elements of mindfulness, such as awareness and non-judgmental acceptance, are theoretically effective remedies against anxiety, worry, fear, or anger.
When thinking of mindfulness meditation, you may immediately envision closing your eyes, sitting still and cross-legged in the chaos surrounding you, and reciting the well-known “om” expression. While this does describe the practice of meditation, there is much more to understand.
Scientific research on mindfulness has reported associations between self-reported mindfulness and psychological health. Science has provided essential information regarding how mindfulness meditation positively impacts a person’s well-being.
Mindfulness-based intervention can:
- Be helpful for anxiety and depression
- Reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Reduce insomnia and improve sleep patterns, similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Help individuals recover from substance use disorder (SUD) by increasing awareness of thoughts and feelings that can trigger cravings and developing coping skills to decrease their impulsive responses to cravings
- Improve mental health in individuals with cancer
- Have little to no risks
Additionally, mindfulness-based meditation implies potential benefits for losing weight and managing eating patterns through programs combining formal and informal mindfulness exercises.
Through modern-day methods, endless thoughts consume the brain while simultaneously engaging in internal dialogue and surrounding situations. However, with mindfulness, we decide on the ideas to which we are most attentive.
Being mindful doesn’t mean neglecting negative thoughts entirely. Instead, it means acknowledging negative ideas and letting go of their power in the mind, creating more space for positive thoughts and affirmations. When individuals learn to react positively, they can respond to negative situations more productively.
Like anything else, becoming more mindful requires training. Ways to practice mindfulness can include various meditation practices. Some simple ways to apply mindfulness include:
- Breathing exercises: Take deep breaths. Practice breathing in through your nose while counting to four. Hold for one second, and exhale through your mouth while counting to five.
- Enjoying a stroll: Walk on a nature trail as you pay attention to breathing patterns and sights or sounds surrounding you. When negative feelings or worries enter your thought processes, acknowledge them, but remember to return to the present moment.
- Eating a well-rounded and healthy meal: Be mindful of the taste and texture of each bite. Listen to your body when it is hungry and full.
- Sensory impressions: Do a body scan and bring awareness to how each area of your body feels. Completing a body scan can connect your mind and body from head to toe.
The critical thing to remember when applying mindfulness is to pay attention to what is happening in the current moment. Instead of placing all your attention on what will happen in the future or dwelling in the past, take time to embrace the present moment.
Benefits of Mindfulness for Mental Health
Some possible benefits of mindfulness include reduced stress, decreased depression, improved memory, and reinforced relationships. Below is a detailed description of how mindfulness benefits mental health.
Increased Emotion Regulation
Emotional regulation signifies the ability to wield authority over your own emotions. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) integrates elements of mindfulness with CBT and emotional regulation. Research implies that DBT can be successful in helping individuals manage emotions.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) incorporates CBT with mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to help reduce symptoms of depression and prevent symptoms from returning.
Decreased Stress and Anxiety
Mindfulness approaches have been adjusted particularly for treating signs of stress. MBSRs use combined elements of mindfulness and yoga and can help individuals manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to feelings of stress or anxiety.
Mindfulness can be a powerful wellness tool with many benefits. Learning to be aware and present in each moment can enhance all aspects of life through mindfulness.
A mindfulness approach to life will create a more intentionally peaceful way of existing in your mind and body while improving all aspects of your well-being. If you or a loved one could benefit from mindfulness-based interventions, we want to help. Crownview Co-Occurring Institute in San Diego, CA, offers various treatment and psychiatric care for several levels of mental health disorders. Here, we provide unique treatment programs guaranteed to deliver high-quality care with proven results. We understand how stressful life can be when struggling with untreated mental health conditions or addiction. We are here to help you recover from crisis and regain independence in a healing environment with a compassionate team of professionals ready to help you take back control of your life.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Contact our admissions team to learn how Crownview can help you or your loved one.