What are some advantages of mindfulness?

Mindfulness, at its core, is the skill associated with being fully present and in the moment at any given time. While the practice has its underpinnings in spiritual rituals associated with Buddhism, one need not imagine themselves to be converting religions in order to experience the benefits of mindfulness.  The beauty of the practice is that it is available to everyone, anywhere, at any moment.

One advantage of mindfulness is very practical. A result of learning the skill of acknowledging the content of wandering thoughts and feelings and gently nudging one's consciousness back to a more present focus is that negative emotions become more tolerable. When we learn that the mind is a rolling experience of thoughts, feelings and sensations that is simultaniously ever-changing and constant, we begin to accept that the goal is not to cease these phenomenon but to accept them. Like ocean waves, the mind is a flowing tapestry that is not something to be feared, it is to be navigated.

Many myths about meditation exist in the popular culture and deserve to be dispelled. As addressed above, mindfulness is not about religion, it's about presence. Another misbelief is that when one practices meditation, a successful outcome is an empty mind. Many patients tell me that they believe they cannot meditate because when they try to be still, their mind begins to wander. I always reply with: "your mind is always wandering, you're simply beginning to notice." We must keep in mind that our goal is to acknowledge and accept the flowing experience of consciousness and learn how to compassionately redirect our presence into a focus.

For the anxious, mindfulness can offer an opportunity to develop a skill that has benefits that are both emotional and physical in nature. The scientific literature suggests that those who practice mindfulness often experience lower stress and the benefits of that include improved health, reduced anxiety, and greater life satisfaction. Locating a trained psychologist who can help you begin to develop your mindful skills will likely help you to turn a corner on your anxiety and begin to see yourself as a person who has the power to manage your emotions rather than simply being a victim. 
Gina M. Biegel

Mindfulness can help you sit still, be quiet and accept your thoughts as they come without judgment. In this video, psychotherapist Gina Biegel reveals the many advantages of being present and mindful.

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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.