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  • Writer's pictureMonique Johnson

Mindfulness: The Key to Inner Peace

The brain is the most powerful organ in the body. When we are maintaining our mental health, we are nurturing our brain. From our thoughts to our emotions and behaviors, the brain is the engine that makes us function as human beings. It is important to be intentional about how you care for your brain and your overall mental health. There are a variety of ways to help your brain be in its best shape. One way to do this is by practicing mindfulness. Studies show that mindfulness can enhance and “better” our brains.

What is mindfulness?

“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experiences,” stated by Jon Kabat-Zinn. People get confused about what mindfulness is or how to practice it. Mindfulness is a straightforward concept. It is the mind being attentive to what you are doing and what is happening in the moment. You become more aware of yourself and others. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present in the moment. When we are mindful, we do not allow our emotions, behaviors, thoughts, or environment to overwhelm us. Our minds can venture off very quickly and think about everything else that is going on in our lives. We can easily get caught up in those thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness cuts out the needless stress.

5 Benefits of Mindfulness

When we practice mindfulness, it is a moment in our lives where we can suspend judgment and observe how our minds work. You gain a lot of insight about who you are as an individual and you can be in control of your emotions and behaviors. Check out these five benefits of mindfulness.

Reduced Anxiety & Stress

Mindfulness helps to reduce anxiety and stress. When we are stressed, our minds get very worried, which leads to anxiety. Mindfulness will help slow the mind down and focus on the here and now. The American Psychological Association reported that mindfulness can be helpful for soothing feelings of stress and anxiety.

Decrease Depression

For decades, mindfulness has been effectively helping to treat depression. Sometimes we run from our emotions or hide them. Mindfulness gives you the tools to be able to pull away from negative emotions, identify them, and accept them. It helps you cope with your negative feelings. Being more mindful will allow you to regulate your emotions better, which can decrease your experiences with depression.

Better Memory

There have been studies that have proved that practicing mindfulness positively impacts your memory. In one particular study, they found that individuals that practiced mindfulness in a 4-week period displayed changes in their brain. There were changes in the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain that is associated with memory.

Stronger Relationships

When you accept yourself and your emotions, then you begin to accept others as well. You stop trying to change the people in your relationships and you accept them for who they are. Mindfulness helps you to acknowledge that they are not perfect. People become more satisfied in their relationships when they fully accept others in those relationships.

Better Physical Health

According to the research, mindfulness can help with symptoms of a variety of medical conditions and chronic illnesses. Mindfulness can help relieve lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and more. Not only does it help with your mental health, but it also helps your physical health too.

Mindfulness is the key to finding inner peace. You are learning to be more aware of your thoughts and emotions without judging them. It is a practice that many people can benefit from in their lifetime. Mindfulness isn’t a one size fits all coping skill or approach to healing. Working as a therapist, I have found that it is very helpful for a lot of my clients, but for others it may not work well for them. I encourage you to try it out and see if it’s a great fit for you!

“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.” -Amit Ray.

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