Most people who explore mindfulness do so hoping to cope better with stress and feel more peaceful. That makes sense, considering that there is an impressive body of evidence confirming such benefits.
In recent years, studies have been suggesting that the perks of mindfulness aren’t limited to your mind. We are now gone a step further, with studies showing the practice can lessen pain, lessen cognitive decline, and boost the immune system, and even slows down the aging process.
While mindfulness is not a stand-alone treatment for many conditions, it can be beneficial when used in conjunction with other remedies: even lessening your need for prescription medication.
Mindfulness takes your mind off the pain. Mindfulness techniques distract you so that you automatically focus less on the pain.
It guards your heart.
Mindfulness appears to help reduce your risk of heart disease, according to a 2017 scientific statement published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. When experts reviewed dozens of studies that were conducted over the past two decades, they found that mindfulness techniques like meditation helped lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the heart, and lowers blood glucose levels. Mindfulness also reduces the level of stress hormones, which can raise blood pressure and inflammation in the body.
It helps your cells stay young.
It is impossible to turn back time; however, mindfulness seems like a good bet if your goal is to stay healthier for a longer time. Mindfulness helps protect your telomeres, the protein that caps the ends of your chromosomes. Telomeres are longest when we are young and naturally shorten with age. Shorter telomeres are associated with stress and high risk for diseases such as cancer. People who regularly practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation have longer telomeres.
It averts off dementia.
Dementia is a disease that has no cure. Yet only practicing mindfulness might help slow the progression of the condition. Mindfulness causes positive changes in the brain. It increases the size of your hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and increases gray matter.
It improves symptoms of ADHD.
Mindfulness may help reduce reliance on ADHD. Mindfulness is thought to help because it thickens the prefrontal cortex, a part of your brain that is involved in focusing and planning and impulse control. It can help people and children get used to sustain their attention in a relaxed way. It also increases your brain’s level of dopamine, which is in short supply in ADHD brains. Mindfulness encourages acceptance and reduces stress, so it may be helpful with the emotional aspects of ADHD.
It Boosts your immune system.
When you are stress, your body secretes stress hormones, such as cortisol, and also produces more inflammation, both of which suppress your immune system. Mindfulness meditation reduces inflammation and increases immune cell activity.
Mindfulness also appears to be a fierce fighter when it comes to life-threatening diseases such as HIV infections and cancer. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)programs had a higher level of disease-fighting cells and lower viral counts. Other researches have shown that breast cancer survivors who practice mindfulness have higher levels of T-cells, which helps fight cancer.
It combats insomnia
When practicing good sleep hygiene habits such as eliminating napping and establishing a relaxing regular bedtime routine can be helpful, learning mindfulness maybe even more useful for sleep. One common complaint of insomniacs is that they can’t fall asleep because of a monkey mind. Mindfulness forces you to close your account to all other thoughts ad attractions, creating a more conducive atmosphere for sleep.
Mindfulness eases anxiety. Mental anguish can worsen pain symptoms. Mindfulness can help relieve the stress and anticipation that can worsen your discomfort. It physically changes your brain. Mindfulness stops your mind from being overactive, which may, in turn, slow down the pain messages bombarding your brain cells. Mindfulness even increases the thickness in the temporal lobe, the part of the brain that process pain.
The outcome of mindfulness
While practicing mindfulness won’t allow everyone with severe pain to swear off medication entirely, it can help reduce reliance on drugs. It may also be a helpful supplement for chronic pain sufferers. The good thing about mindfulness is that it appears to use different brain pathways to block pain. It is a non-addictive way to find relief.
Mindfulness practices can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help us to focus our attention, as well as to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment. As you continue to add more mindfulness to your life, you will start to experience how it can help your peace of mind and overall health and well-being.