Mindfulness: Benefits – II

This is the 2nd part of the series which discovers the benefits of having a regular mindfulness practice. I try to add my personal experience regarding the benefit I write about. Those advantages stem from books, articles, videos, and my personal experience.

I recommend to read the 1st part which you can find here.

It is a well-known fact that stress is often the cause for increased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and it can even lead to strokes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. Stress impacts our immune system and there is evidence that it can reduce the chances of conception. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness triggers our ‘relaxation’ response. This is reflected in a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and oxygen consumption. At the same time, our immune system is getting a boost. I cannot speak with regards to high blood pressure. I have always quite a low blood pressure (and I dread winter because of my cold feet 😀 ). What I can say is that I can feel that I relax more and more. Often, when I meditate intensely, I feel how my body is taking back everything I “borrowed” from him. I consider this as a good sign, even if I have a sore throat or a running nose or headaches. Only in this state is my body able to fully recharge and recover.

During several of my previous articles, I write about depression and anxiety. One of my goals is to find a way to better handle those mental illnesses and maybe even finding a cure. One major advantage of mindfulness is that it is proven to reduce anxiety. The University of Massachusetts Medical School investigated the effects of mindfulness-based meditation on a group of people suffering from anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder). 90% of the group reported a reduction in anxiety and depression after an eight-week period. I don’t know if I suffer from depression. I have never been diagnosed and so far, I was always able to get out of this hole myself. Sure, sometimes I also needed some help and yes sometimes those valleys were deep and it took me long to pass through them. Still, mindfulness (next to an exercise to train optimism) is my first go-to method when I want to feel better. It takes a week or two practicing daily but then I can feel how my mind becomes calmer and I feel generally more resilient.

What I can tell from my own experience is that practicing mindfulness tames the ego. The ego is a dangerous beast and I will definitely write another article about the ego. Probably in form of an interview. But, needless to say, that our egos can cloud our view for what is truly important. It is not about having the fanciest car or mobile phone, or having always be in the center of attention. No. After practicing mindfulness for a while I can feel how much calmer I get and that I don’t need to talk or show how smart I am. I can also be patient and smile when someone tells me something for the second or third time without interrupting him/her. It therefore improves my relationships with friends and colleagues.

 

That is it for today. What do you think about those three benefits? 

 

At the moment, I try to increase the reach of my blog and I can’t do it without your help. Please like this article and share it with your friends when you think it is valuable, and only then. I think only content that you deem valuable should be shared. Thank you for reading =).

Stephan

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