Mindfulness and the Benefits

The Counselling Corner – Martensville, Saskatchewan
Child, Youth, Adult, Couple, & Family Counselling

Mindfulness and the Benefits

Submitted by Wendy Kritzer BSW MSW RSW

Mindfulness is a mental state that one attains by focusing their awareness on the present moment, while calmly recognizing their feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It is simply a method of thought training. Mindfulness is not a difficult process but it does require patience and persistence.

Mindfulness meditation – (Mindfulness of Breath) This is a simple form of meditation that consists of an individual’s complete focus on each breath as it flows in and out of their body. This is performed by allowing the individual to observe thoughts as they emerge in their mind followed by a step-by-step process of letting go of each struggle. This allows an individual to understand that thoughts and feelings (positive or negative in nature) are impermanent, that they can come and go.  Further, we have a choice about whether or not we choose to act on thoughts. Mindfulness meditation will allow an individual to grasp onto their negative thought patterns before those thoughts move them into a negative state. This allows an individual to begin the process of placing themselves back in control of their life. Long-term changes are observed in the mood, levels of happiness and well-being.

Other forms of mindfulness include present moment awareness, mindfulness listening. mindful seeing, mindful tasting, mindful smelling, mindful touching, mindful motion, and mindfulness of thoughts. As well as, mindfulness emotions, mindfulness of physical body, mindfulness of relationships, mindfulness of tasks, mindfulness of compassion, mindfulness of intention and finally mindfulness of intuition.

Various emotions such as anxiety, stress, depression, exhaustion, and irritability are all minimized by the use of mindfulness meditation. Improvements are seen in memory, creativity, attention span, reaction times, and mental and physical stamina. Mindfulness is also proven to reduce pain and emotional reaction. Mindfulness trials demonstrate improved mood and quality of life in chronic pain conditions. Mindfulness meditation also improves emotional intelligence and reduces the addictive and self-destructive behavior. With the use of mindfulness meditation, the brain function is enhanced with improvements observed in self-awareness, empathy, self-control, and attention. It also soothes the part of the brain that produces stress hormones and builds those areas that increase positive mood and promote learning. Immune systems improve with the regular use of mindfulness meditation. Other areas of improvement are emotional regulation, social skills, self-esteem, and sense of calmness, relaxation, and self-acceptance. As well as improvement in quality of sleep, test anxiety, ADHD behavior such as hyperactivity/impulsivity, and less conduct and anger management difficulties.

If you have further questions concerning mindfulness and the benefits, please email me at thecounsellingcorner@sasktel.net.

Until next time –

From The Counselling Corner

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