24 May 3 Reasons Why Mindfulness is Not Overrated
-Janice Tang, Hong Kong
Blogs and research about mindfulness are all over the news these days. It’s a popular trend that every newspaper is trying to capitalize on, across the world. Headlines, such as, “Mindfulness therapy for mental health problems? It’s more useful than drugs.”, “6 Amazing Mindfulness Apps to De-stress your brain.”, “Why meditation makes you more productive than multi-tasking.” It all seems too good to be true. Every article talks about the benefits of practicing mindfulness each day. There’s no doubt why people may be drawn by the novelty of the concept and be engaged by it.
Despite how mainstream it has become, the benefits of mindfulness has been proven by research and real-life experiences. Here are three reasons why mindfulness is not overrated.
A recent study, published by the Health Psychology, shows that an increase in the level of mindfulness is positively correlated to a decrease in the level of stress hormone cortisol. Overall, by practicing mindful breathing and being present in the moment, it helps to cultivate positive mental emotions, such as compassion, happiness, and joy thus minimizing the level of stress. In fact, Harvard was one of the first institutions to launch its mindfulness program and their objective was to help students and employees deal with day-to-day stress.
2) As a nation, Americans check their phones 8 billion times a day, in total. Mindfulness will help you to forget the online world and embrace the offline world.
Let’s face it. Most of the time, our face is glued to the phone screen. We are shopping online, making financial transactions, checking newsfeed on Facebook, and basically, spending quality time on our mobiles every day. Mindfulness helps us to trace back to our roots and live the moment. You don’t need anything but to bring yourself in the present. Practice breathing and reflect on the moment as it passes by you. Life lived simply.
3) Mindfulness is an effective technique to improve cognitive function.
According to the journal, Psychological Science, college students can improve their verbal reasoning exams on standard tests, such as GRE (Graduate Record Examination), simply by practicing mindfulness. When students are trained to be mindful, they are more capable of staying focused, which allows them to perform better on reading comprehension and working memory capacity.
Based on research, mindfulness seems like the perfect practice to reduce stress and improve performance. At the end of the day, you can be the judge.