Mindfulness: What is it and where to start
Learning to become mindful is an invaluable tool and those who develop this tool are far more able to cope with stress. Have you ever felt your emotions getting away from you? Or looked back on a situation and thought "I should have handled that differently"? Mindfulness offers the ability to more clearly view events as they happen. Recognizing emotions with great objectivity and therefore having the ability to react more intentionally.
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One of the greatest benefits associated with mindfulness & meditation is a reduction in mental and physical stress caused by increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone is responsible for many of the harmful effects of stress on the body. These effects can result in poor quality sleep, lead to depression and anxiety, increased blood pressure, decreased libido and lower your ability to concentrate. A review by Goyal et al (2014) that included 47 studies with 3515 participants found that mindfulness meditation programs showed evidence of improving anxiety, depression, and decreasing pain. They found some evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life. Another study (Martires &Zeidler, 2015) examining insomnia and meditation found that participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn't meditate.
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