Mindfulness is now mainstream. This is justified if you consider the proven benefits. Recent studies show a range of positive physical and mental outcomes. These include alleviating the effects of stress, a reduction in chronic pain, and at least partial relief from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
We hear also much about mindfulness that it's easy to become bored, and suspicious that its all just hype. Take a more critical look though and you find there's real value in regular practice, and it takes a lot less effort than you'd think to learn the basic technique.
When we look more deeply into mindfulness, a different set of advantages are revealed.
That's a shame when you consider how mindfulness benefits people who practise regularly. There are obvious benefits to mental health, productivity, and general wellbeing, but it doesn't end there. When we look a little more deeply into learning to be mindful, a different set of benefits emerge. Among them are these mindfulness benefits:
An enhanced sense of purpose and motivation
The demands of our lives can quickly overwhelm us. Sure, pressure means that, on a good day, we can get a lot done. But the cost is that we can lose enthusiasm in things we used to love. Regular mindfulness practice helps enliven your sense of purpose and motivation.
Better decision-making and judgements
Mindfulness brings clarity of thought and mental flexibility. What is not mentioned is that a spin-off from this is that it can help you untangle complexity. People who use mindfulness in their daily lives find decision-making easier and make better judgments.
Mindfulness is about the real world
It's a misconception to think of mindfulness as being unconnected to the real world. While the initial focus is on inner awareness and the present moment, the outcome is that you learn to use attention selectively. This means a greater sense of connectedness to oneself, to others, and our surroundings.
Mindfulness contributes to personal resilience
Greater self-awareness is one of the main aims of learning mindfulness. Learning to focus the attention at will means that we must also become more self-aware and curious. Curiosity is one of the signal strengths of resilience, and self-awareness helps to regulate mood and emotions, also a key factor in resilience.
Being mindful doesn't mean 'switching off'
Mindfulness is often confused with relaxation. They may share some similar techniques (focussing on breathing for example), but they are decidedly not the same thing. Whereas relaxation aims to leave you feeling... well, relaxed, mindfulness benefits mental clarity. It sharpens the senses and has an energising effect.
Mindfulness doesn't take months to learn
Though many programmes are advertised as lasting several weeks or even months, with guidance you can experience a mindful state in a few minutes. With the know-how, all it takes is the commitment to practise for a few minutes each day.
Learn more about mindfulness benefits
My online course Mindfulness in Life and at Work is available now for just £25.00 ($32.00). If you'd like to learn how to get greater control of your mind, why not take a look?