1. What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a process in the field of psychology that brings the attention of an individual to an experience that is occurring at the present moment, which an individual can develop through the practice of contemplation and through other training.
It is about maintaining a moment by moment awareness of the person’s thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness can also be defined as being active and paying attention to what happens in the present by observing one’s thoughts and feelings without perceiving them as either good or bad.
2. How does Mindfulness work?
Mindfulness works due to changes in the brain and hormones that the individual produce. Kabat-zin developed the most famous mindfulness exercise which involves eating a raisin. By eating a raisin one is taught how to attend to looks, feelings and textures. Mindfulness in addition also teaches people to accept their experiences and thoughts. The meditations of mindfulness is combined with psychotherapy mainly cognitive behavioural therapy which helps people to have a strong perceptive on maladaptive, irrational and self-defeating thoughts.
Mindfulness is generally about inner awareness of an individual and his or herself acceptance.
3. How is Mindfulness beneficial?
Mindfulness makes people subjective in all their dealings and also influences people based on their state of emotions. Mindfulness affects how the brain works and its structure. People who have mindfulness in place do not have insecurities and fears regarding the past and future since this can make them not to enjoy the present. Mindfulness is a process that helps individuals to have control over their destructive feelings and they frequently capture positive memories.
On the other hand, mindfulness helps change the body of an individual by bringing about relaxation. The relaxation brought about in the body due to mindfulness is due to the engagement of parasympathetic the nervous system which restores the body by calming it down by lowering of heart and respiratory rate.
Mindfulness helps improve the physical health of an individual by helping relieve stress, treat various heart diseases, lower blood pressure, improve sleep and reduce chronic diseases.
Mindfulness is also beneficial since it helps improve mental health and for this reason most psychotherapist use mindfulness meditation in treatment of various mental problems like eating disorders, obsessive - compulsive disorders and anxiety disorders.
It is also important in schools as it helps learners have positive outcomes in reducing anxiety, distress and also in improving their behaviours. Students who use mindfulness meditations frequently report higher well-being and lower stress scores. Mindfulness is greatly being used in schools to help students to overcome bullying as well as enable them to learn and concentrate better. Mindfulness is used in criminal justice systems where it has seen to it that there are improvements in hostility, self-esteem and mood disturbances after inmates are exposed to mindfulness meditations.
4. Can Mindfulness improve mental health?
Yes it can. Mindfulness helps improve mental health since it is an integrative process between mind and body which helps people manage their feelings and thoughts and this enables an improved mental health. Mindfulness is used in treating people with mental illness and also used in improving mental health and wellbeing. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (also known as MBCT) it is used greatly to help people with recurring depression and this help them get a stable mental condition. Mindfulness based stress reduction (mbsr), is greatly used to enable people acquire coping skills to deal with stress. Mindfulness meditations provide flexible skills that are used to manage mental health. According to researchers, areas of the brain that are linked to emotions are large in people that have undergone regular mindfulness exercises than those that do not undergo and for this reason it is evident that mindfulness is beneficial to mental health. Mindfulness is also used to help curb a social anxiety which may cause trauma which maybe a cause of mental disorders.
5. Mindfulness techniques for Depression
Meditation is a mindfulness technique for depression which is like a daily message for one’s mind. It helps an individual to have a connection between his or her thoughts and emotions. Having a connection helps one recover from their anxiety. Meditation helps reduce depression by providing a better life for the individual.
Morning Pages Journaling.
Morning pages journaling is a technique which involves one writing a stream of consciousness pages after they wake up and it requires an individual to keep moving the pen no matter what. This technique helps one trap their problems on paper and this helps one move on with their day without remembering their problems. It helps reduce depression to some extent since it is more therapeutic.
Yoga is an important technique for people suffering from depression because initially an individual suffering from depression lacks energy. Yoga helps bring energy in a grounded manner.
6. Mindfulness techniques for Anger Management
There are various mindfulness techniques to free an individual of anger. They include:
Recognizing the presence of anger.
It is challenging for an individual to deal with their emotions compassionately but this helps one to reduce the feelings of anger. And this can help suppress anger.
Realizing that anger is part of life.
One has to understand that being angry is not a crime and it is very okay at times to be angry. In times of anger an individual should understand that his or her own love matters a lot and as such they should not let anger get out of control since they can end up hurting themselves. Psychology advocates for one to realize the importance and wisdom of having mindfulness exercises.
Take a deep breath.
This is the most important technique since when an individual is angry, he or she tends to have shallow, rapid and agitated breath. And this makes body and mind to be disconnected. Taking a deep breath helps one reconnect body and mind.
7. Mindfulness techniques for Anxiety
Anxiety can have various mental effects on the body of an individual. Anxiety can be greatly reduced by having mindfulness practices. Some of the techniques to reduce anxiety include:
Going for a mindful walk.
Going for a walk helps an individual to focus on his or her senses and the surrounding environment, this greatly helps reduce anxiety as this helps an individual to pay attention to sounds and smells around him or her.
Attention Training or focusing on one thing at a time.
This involves one having a list of tasks to do and giving each task enough time and undivided attention. This helps reduce anxiety as one is fully focused on a particular task and there is no multitasking.