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Press Pause: How Mindfulness is good for your health

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on October 4, 2016

mindfullness

When you hear ‘healthy’, what comes to mind? Diet and fitness, yes. What about your mind? It’s just as important when it comes to your health to look after your mental wellbeing. We take a look at the benefits of mindfulness, as well as some easy ways to stop, take a moment and bring some mindfulness into your life.

It reduces stress: Mindfulness has been shown to lower stress and anxiety levels, which can only be a good thing for your health! And it’s not just all in your head – you’ll actually have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

It can improve your brainpower: Mindfulness has been found to improve students’ verbal reasoning test scores, as well as working memory. It also enhances your ability to focus, making it easier for those brainwaves to come!

It helps even when we’re not actively doing it: You don’t have to be constantly working out to feel the benefits – well, it’s the same with mindfulness! You’ll be better at controlling your emotions and moods, even when you’re not actually meditating.

You’ll sleep better: If you weren’t convinced before, we bet you are now! Less stress = a better night’s sleep. Studies have found that mindfulness and meditation can help reduce insomnia and fatigue.

Mindful exercises you can try

Mindful Breathing

Anywhere, anytime – all you need to do is take one minute to focus on nothing but your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, focusing on how your breath moves through your body. This is all about letting go of all your other thoughts, just for a minute while you really concentrate on your breathing.

Find beauty in the everyday

On your morning commute, when you’re walking the dog or even when you’re at home cooking – find something that you find truly beautiful and take time to appreciate it.

Go with the flow

A big part of being mindful is learning to recognise your own emotions. Not to try to change them, but to be more in touch with what you’re feeling and how you’re reacting. So if you’ve had a bad day or a good one, accept what you’re feeling and go with it.

Switch off

Mindfulness is all about being in the moment, and as much as we love technology (yours truly is especially guilty of this!), it can make it harder to really focus on one thing. Give yourself time without the endless stream of notifications and messages. Whether that’s no digital devices before bed, or simply putting the phone away while you’re eating a meal, make sure you take time to switch off.

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