When we think of the word “mindfulness”, many different ideas or interpretations may come to mind. For some, mindfulness is a specific action, like meditation. For others, it’s a way of being intentional about how they go about their day. In truth, mindfulness encompasses both meditation and intentionality. It’s about being present in the moment, no matter if you’ve dedicated time toward meditation or you’re simply preparing dinner or talking with a loved one. The best thing about mindfulness though is that it can help make you healthier!
Here are five ways mindfulness impacts your health:
- It can improve your physical health.
Practicing mindfulness can improve our heart health, encourage us to be more physically active, lower our blood pressure, improve our sleep, alleviate symptoms related to gastrointestinal distress, and reduce chronic pain, all of which contribute to better physical health.
- It can improve your mental health.
Mindfulness is one tool that can help with healing mental health issues, like depression, personal conflict, stress and anxiety. It can also be part of treatment for things like substance abuse, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- It is good for your heart.
Some studies have shown that people with pre-hypertension who have been prescribed and learned mindfulness have seen reductions in their blood pressure. Mindfulness can also help lower incidence of smoking, increase physical activity, and lead to healthier body mass index, all of which are related to improved heart health.
- It can reduce stress and anxiety.
Folks with diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder can benefit greatly from mindfulness-based stress reduction and see a significant reduction in their anxiety. Additionally, mindfulness can help induce a state of relaxation, which has an impact on stress and anxiety levels.
- Ultimately, it’s good for your overall wellbeing.
Practicing mindfulness helps you focus on the present and be less consumed by concerns based in the past or future. This helps with forming deeper connections with others, which can ultimately improve wellbeing. Additionally, it may enhance or increase our health behaviors, like being active, practicing safe habits like wearing our seatbelts, avoiding harmful behaviors, and regularly paying attention to our health through things like health check-ups.
For mindfulness tips and other resources, check out our reference list below.