Your Wellness Guide: Mindfulness
Here are some tips for being for mindful!
When you practice “being present,” you reap a variety of health benefits. According to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness reduces stress, boosts working memory, increases focus and decreases emotional reactivity. Studies also show mindfulness improves your mood, increases positive emotions and decreases anxiety.
“The benefit I hear from students the most is that it widens the gap between what happens and how they respond to it,” says Kristen Manieri, a certified mindfulness teacher and the host of 60 Mindful Minutes podcast. “Mindfulness increases our capacity to respond with more intention and with more alignment with who we want to be in the world,” she says. That intentional approach to life results in more thoughtfulness, compassion and kindness, explains Manieri.
In addition to the mental health benefits of mindfulness, recent research began focusing on its physical health benefits, including how it may impact the heart, brain and immune system. Studies show that mindfulness may decrease the risk of heart disease. It may also decrease cognitive decline from aging or Alzheimer’s, improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and decrease cell-aging.
Practicing mindfulness can also help keep you calmer, no matter what’s going on around you. “It helps us return ourselves to a more neutral state faster,” notes Manieri. “We can’t really control what’s happening in the world. We can really only control how—and even if—we react to it.”