Mindfulness is recommended as a tool in treatment of people with mental health issues or problems like anxiety , stress or some kind of mental trauma. It is also recommended to improve mental strength, health and well being of a person when someone feels down, restless or frightened. Mindfulness is fruitful for people from all areas of life and its growth is increasing day by day among people from all walks of life. Research is still going on in areas of mindfulness giving positive results proving that it has beneficial effects on the body of a person both physically and mentally.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a psychological process of bringing ones attention to what is going on inside and outside us moment by moment. It can be achieved by practicing meditation and other training. The basic origin of mindfulness is Buddhist teaching. They use mindfulness as a technique to develop knowledge and wisdom leading to what is described as enlightenment or freedom from physical and mental sufferings. The father of modern concept of mindfulness in west is John Kabit Zinn.
Clinical studies have shown many physical and mental benefits of mindfulness in patients of different categories as well as in healthy persons including adults and children.
Mindfulness meditation develops the skill in a person to focus his attention to what is happening in the present moment. An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our body and the inner sensations waking up to every physical aspect of present moment. Basically it is about making our body more focused and attached to present moment in a clear way. Becoming more attached to the present moment can help us to enjoy the things around us which we have been taking for granted. We begin to experience world in a fresh manner and understand our inner feelings and emotions in a better way.
It might be helpful to know that mindfulness is not about making thoughts go away or stop them at all.In fact it’s about assuming them as mental events. This is winter and also season of flue. See instant measure for cold and flu treatment.
Benefits of Mindfulness regarding Academic success:
It is evident from various researches that mindfulness has shown its positive effects in young people and children.Such experiment based interventions like reducing stress, anxiety, and improving behavior in various aspects has been conducted on students in campuses.
Listed below are few reasons to back up this enthusiasm:
- Rise in IQ level: Studies have shown that student’s regularly practicing meditation revealed tremendous rise in brain function. The ability to critical thinking, analytical reasoning and practical intelligence has been improved dramatically. Mindfulness helps students to think positive in novel manner indifferent situations.
- Boosting Resilience: Resilience is an effective tool that helps students to cope with their daily problems and stress situations. Mindfulness helps them to develop emotionally, mentally and academically in understanding and regulating their emotions. Various experimental Studies have proved that Mindfulness based cognitive therapy in children reduces problems in child’s behavior. It increases attention and diminishes anxiety thus improving social emotional resilience in students. They are able to gain various support skills through mindfulness practice.
- Buffering bullying distress: Improving social and ethical learning by tools like mindfulness help stopping bullies before they become bullies.
- Self control and emotion regulation:
A study on mindfulness and emotional regulation in college students has shown that higher level of mindfulness practice predicted better regulation of emotions and suppression of thoughts and leads to better self control and inhibition of destructive thoughts resulting in a better social behavior and boosted self esteem.
- Improved Academic Success: Mindfulness is helpful for students in achieving academic success in a variety of ways such as reducing exam stress, fear of failure, distraction thus raising their self confidence and improving knowledgeregardless of any specific group.
- Better Focus: Meditation calms down the minds of students resulting in a decreased level of ADH release. Low levels of ADH reduce stress and anxiety and help students to focus more while they encounter the task.
- Improved Physical Health: Beyond improving mental health of students mindfulness has marvelous effect on their physical well being .Results of Experimental studies with students as participant’s states that physical health of students doing mindfulness is becoming better day by day. Mindfulness provides better protection from cardiovascular diseases by keeping blood pressure at a normal level. Mindfulness also helps to reduce obesity by improving eating behaviors and reducing tension.
- Alcoholism: Alcoholism’s more prevalent in the students than any other population. Studies related Stress and anxiety leads more and more students to seek help from alcohol and other drugs to reduce the tension. This may lead to serious issues regarding academic problems and many life lasting threatening outcomes. As mindfulness reduces stress and other mental issues it can be used to cope with this problem. It will be helpful in slow turning down of the antisocial behavior of students and thus making them a person full of life again.
Considering the growing research and tremendous outcomes of mindfulness, different educational institutes are promoting meditation culture in campuses as a course. This course is helping students in many aspects whether they are coping with exam stress, facing bullying or seeking help to improve their mental skills. Teachers are using mindfulness to boost mental health of students as well as helping them to learn well and concentrate better at their studies. Read how to loose your weight using cinnamon.
Mindfulness effects on stress:
Mindfulness not only reduces stress but also make you capable of facing stress situation by giving you an inner strength so that in future stress conditions should have a less impact on your physical and mental well-being. It develops an internal feeling of satisfaction and you will become more aware of your body needs. It reduces stress and makes your life better by methods such as;
- Making you understand the situation and you don’t react to it immediately.
- You start respecting the feelings of other and become more aware of others feelings.
Mindfulness not only reduces stress psychologically but also physically. It reduces the activity of amygdala a part of brain involved in switching the stress mode. Human brain is very complicated and virtual live brain cell research database in Seattle to study in detail. Therefore the background level of stress reduces. So you complete your work more efficiently, you have greater sense of satisfaction and this reduces work related stress. You are more likely to feel a better person free from negative thoughts. Mindfulness based stress reduction MBSR technique is quite common these days and practice sessions are available in various cities of America. Experimental findings have shown that MSBR can reduce mean stress, depression and anxiety in patients with many critical mental health problems. Read coping strategies for anxiety and depression control.
How to get Mindfulness at home:
Mindfulness can be achieved by practicing meditation. By following some simple steps you can do Mindfulness at your home and can get to know yourself in a deep manner.
Find a peaceful but distinctive place at your home. Your lounge or garden can be a good place to select. Try to sit in a natural light. If you are a beginner try to meditate for 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually you can increase the time duration day by day.
Find a comfortable posture for you like straight steady posture whatever you are sitting on. If you are using a chair, sit with your back straight and your feet touching the floor. If you are sitting on a cushion you can fold or cross your legs in front of you. Straighten your back but don’t stiffen your upper body. Let your arms rest on the tops of your legs. Drop your chin a little so that your gaze will fall downward. It is not necessary to close your eyes while practicing. Now get relax and pay attention to your body.
Follow your Breath:
Feel your breath as it goes in and as it goes out. Draw your attention to the physical aspect of breathing. Feel the sensation of air movement and going up and down of your belly or chest. Choose a focal point and mentally note the breathing in and breathing out.
In a few minutes your attention will wander leaving breathing pattern. Try to focus on yourself. Take a pause and regain your attention to yourself. It is not necessary to stop thoughts from coming. Just let them come in a natural way and concentrate to get rid of them again. It is hard to maintain but come back over and over again.
When you are done open your eyes or lift your gaze take a moment and listen to sounds in environment and notice how your body feels.
This may not be easy procedure but constant practice will cure results. Mindfulness is not an answer to every problem but it is recommended on the basis of experimental results in every field of life to have a better stress free life.
Research and written by Ayesha Gulzar from United Kingdom.