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How can practicing mindfulness improve my well-being?

Pallav Mehta, MD
Internal Medicine
Practicing mindfulness can improve our well-being in that an awareness of our bodies, thoughts and feelings can positively impact our overall health. In this video, I will explain the healthy benefits of being mindful.
John Douillard, DC
Herbal Medicine
Practicing mindfulness can improve well-being in a multitude of ways. Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn did notable research on telomeres, which are the protective caps on chromosomes in the body which shorten and lengthen in response to one’s environment and psychology. Blackburn found that as telomeres shorten, cells start malfunctioning and losing their ability to divide. Based on this research, scientists use shortened telomere length as a way of gauging increased risk of health problems.

Interestingly, studies suggest that meditation may be associated with increased telomere length (and thus decreased risk of health issues). Research has shown that meditation increases mindfulness, which in turn increases telomere length. The many tremendous health benefits of meditation and increased mindfulness include improved cognitive ability, less negative thoughts, better sense of life purpose, improved overall health and possibly longer lifespans. 
Ronald Siegel
Psychology
Increasing your capacity for mindfulness (awareness and acceptance of your present experience) supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.

If greater well-being isn't enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered the benefits of mindfulness techniques to help relieve stress, prevent heart disease, and alleviate conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic pain, sleep problems, and gastrointestinal difficulties.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.