How Can Mindfulness Affect Your Stress Levels?
Mindfulness teaches you to be aware of your feelings and accept them. When you practice mindfulness, you live in the moment. You focus on your breathing, how your body feels, and what’s around you. It helps you understand your emotions and realize that they come and go — they don’t define you. Once you accept your feelings without thinking of them as “right” or “wrong,” you can change any unhealthy thought patterns.
Regular mindfulness can physically change parts of your brain. Practicing mindfulness — especially meditation — can make the area of your brain that controls your attention span grow over time. It can also fatten up your brain stem and increase the gray matter in your brain, all of which helps you process your emotions better and stay healthier.
Practicing mindfulness can affect your genes. The relaxation you feel when you practice being mindful might play a part in which genes are active in your body. Specifically, it can make the ones linked to inflammation less active. This can not only improve your health, but it may help you live longer, too.
The practice of mindfulness has roots in religion. Buddhists have used the basics of mindful meditation for thousands of years. It isn’t a religious practice, but it does have a lot of the same features as some types of prayer, which can have similar effects for some people
Mindfulness helps with stress by changing how you react to it. Over time, it gives you more control over your emotions and helps you process them differently. This may also help with anxiety and mood disorders. Meditation and self-awareness have been shown to help children as young as 7 have more self-control and learn to concentrate better. These practices may be especially helpful for children who have ADHD.
Practicing mindfulness may help you fight off illness. Some studies show it may boost your immune system and even help with the effects of aging. But more research is needed to understand exactly what those effects are and how it works.
Mindfulness can help with chronic pain because it helps you react to it differently Mindfulness may not be able to take away pain or cure what causes it, but it can help you feel all your emotions, including positive ones. It also can help you take control of the pain and your feelings and handle your condition better.
Mindfulness may help with depression. Early studies also show that people who have bipolar disorder or an anxiety disorder might benefit from it as part of their treatment plan as well. And if antidepressants have helped and you’re in remission, mindfulness may work just as well as medication to keep it at bay.