What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is all about maintaining awareness of feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, and the surrounding environment through a gentle, nutritious lens. It also includes acceptance, which means that we look at our thoughts and feelings regardless of believing that there is a right or wrong way of thinking at a given moment.
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts reflect what we perceive in the present moment, rather than reinventing the past or imagining the future. It is a quality that every human already possesses, and it is not something you have to celebrate, you only have to learn how to access it.
It is now being investigated scientifically and has been counted to be a major element in stress reduction and overall happiness.
Practicing mindfulness not only improves both physical and psychological symptoms but also brings positive changes in health, attitudes, and behavior.
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness has many benefits. here are some benefits of practicing mindfulness
1. Mindfulness improves well-being
It increases the capacity of many attitudes that contributes to a satisfactory life. It helps to be fully engaged in activities and creates a greater ability to cope with adverse events. In mindfulness practice, they only focus on the present and thus are less likely to get bogged down in concerns about the future or regret the past. In this way, they suffer less from worries and are better able to build deeper relationships with others.
2. Improves physical health
Only greater well-being is not enough of an incentive, it also helps to improve physical health in many ways. It helps to treat heart disease, improve sleep, reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and relieve gastrointestinal problems.
3. Improves mental health
It not only helps in the overall well-being and physical health improvement of a person but also helps to improve mental health. It is an important element in the treatment of many mental health problems such as eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, joint conflicts, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders.
4. Increases body satisfaction
Body dissatisfaction can play a big role in how we think about our bodies and how we feel in our skin. This is usually a very negative sensation that may lead to many mental health disorders. Learning mindfulness in relation to self-compassion not only helps to improve how you see yourself but also helps to increase body satisfaction.
5. Mindfulness keeps negative thoughts away
Negative thoughts can cause chronic stress, which worsens the body's hormone balance, destroys the brain chemicals needed for happiness, and damages the immune system. It helps in keeping away negative thoughts which can lead to better overall health benefits by incorporating the mind in daily movement.
6. Enhances the ability to deal with illness
Mindfulness enhances the ability of people who are suffering from a chronic or potentially terminal illness. It doesn't take away all the symptoms, but it can help to make them manageable. It can reduce the symptoms of stress, increase spirituality, and increase nonresponsiveness to experience.
7. Facilitation of recovery
Mindfulness not only helps you deal with a chronic or potentially terminal illness or life-threatening event but also helps you to move on from it. It can increase post-traumatic growth and reduce stress and anxiety in cancer patients and increases self-kindness, decreases rumination.
8. Enhances visual attention processing
Those who practice mindfulness meditation are more attentive in functioning through better performance on tests of concentration, selective attention, and more. These results show that systematic mindfulness meditation training encourages awareness, attention, and emotional improvement.
Mindfulness benefits for counselors and psychologists
Mindfulness is an approach that has its efficacy in counseling applications and is considered an essential skill for counselors. Engaging in mindfulness helped psychologists develop their consulting skills such as being more considerate they would be able to hold the client in a positive relationship.
As well as the regular practice of mindfulness, they will connect more with the clients' worldview which will help them build a good rapport with the client and foster therapeutic alliances.
1. Mindfulness practice and listening skills
Mindful breathing is one of the techniques that helps them to listen and be fully present with individuals around them. It helps them to become aware of their emotions and regulate them as they arise in between the conversations so that they stay mindful throughout, without their emotions taking away the attention. It also helps them stay grounded and not feel overwhelmed by the client's story, hence they can engage more productively with the client
Sometimes a client's story tends to resonate with one of them which leads to the manifestation of different types of emotions in their body or could be triggering at times. In those times' mindfulness helps them stay grounded and keep the counseling process focused and also helps in building a connection with people around them without being defensive or hurried.
2. Mindfulness exercise and reaction control
Many times it is noticed that in some situations they don't respond rather they react which has negative effects on the relationships they hold with people and the clients too. It improves enhanced acceptance of emotional states which in return improves executive functioning. Mindfulness practice has also proven good helping in better reaction control. Often they have emotional outbursts which is an example of poor reaction control.
But they find that while doing this, they are mindful they are better at controlling their reactions.
3. Mindfulness and self-care
Mindfulness practice can also be incorporated into one's self-care routine. As counselors, high chances are leading to burnout in later stages. But with the practice of mindfulness, burnout can be avoided to a greater extent because it increases acceptance of their experiences as a counselor.
Along with this mindfulness is also proven to increase personal wellbeing for counselors. Mindfulness has remarkably helped them keep their stress and anxiety out.
Finally, I can say that the regular practice of mindfulness meditation benefits your physical as well as your mental health. It plays a very important role in managing stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, sleep sickness, and eating disorders.