The definition of mindfulness is a state of being aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and environment at the present. It is a state of observing and contemplating what we are experiencing at the moment. By being more aware and focusing our awareness to the present, we become more alive and conscious.
Not only does practicing mindfulness help us cultivate more self-awareness and become more in tune with our mind and body, it also helps us heal faster. Mindfulness therapy is based on ancient healing practices that go back centuries. Many believe its foundation lies in Buddhist principles. It has been officially practiced in the U.S. by clinicians, sociologists, and doctors since the 1970s, but underpinnings of this treatment being practiced in the U.S. go back into the early 1900s too.
Mindfulness activities and therapy
meditation, chants, yoga, or deep breathing in which individuals become fully aware of their breath and focus their attention and awareness inward.
The underlying principle behind mindfulness therapy is that our thoughts and emotions manifest themselves in physical ways. Thus, negative thoughts, feelings and stress can actually induce physical changes within the body that lead to poor immunity, sickness, disease and chronic health problems. By becoming self-aware, observing our state of mind, and learning to release our negative thoughts, mindfulness can reverse these negative physical manifestations and improves physiological processes, like lowering blood pressure and cortisol that are linked to illness.
Benefits of mindfulness
Mindfulness has been most strongly linked to reducing anxiety and stress and is most often used to treat mental illness like eating disorders, depression, and addictions. Furthermore, recent studies show that it helps improve and expedites the healing process for diseases and health conditions, such as cancer, fibromyalgia, and psoriasis.
Another benefit of mindfulness is that it has been used successfully to help patients cope with pain. In this type of treatment, patients are taught to observe and accept their pain rather than try to ignore it or cover it up. This awareness and acceptance has been shown to enable patients to reduce pain sensitivity and begin to heal. However, to truly heal our body, we need to take appropriate actions. The concept is to be in tune with what your body is experiencing and not pretend as if nothing is happening.
What is best about mindfulness therapy is that it is one hundred percent non-invasive so there are no negative side effects. The only side effects are positive ones, such as improved energy levels, greater self-confidence, and less stress. On the other hand, conventional drug therapy is often very disruptive to our mind and body, because many of the pharmaceutical drugs used for treating health problems have serious negative side effects.
Mindfulness therapy isn’t the magic cure for everything. However, by using mind healing techniques to help you understand your emotional problems and health conditions, you are a step closer to healing your body. The key is to combine mindfulness techniques with other conventional or alternative medicine to speed up the healing process. Sometimes, mindfulness therapy and alternative medicine may not be enough. In this case, you may have to rely on surgery to fix your health problems.