What is mindfulness?
You may have heard that mindfulness — the ability to be fully present in the moment — can have numerous benefits, everything from decreased stress and sadness to increased levels focus and happiness, according to general mindfulness research. But what exactly is mindfulness? And, how can you recognize it and reap its many benefits? Mindfulness meditation practice is one way to truly experience the current moment and integrate that awareness into your everyday life.
Meditation for stress
At one time or another, many of us will have experienced a sense of being overwhelmed, as if everything were too much. That’s because life can be stressful. And, while stress can have serious repercussions on our health, sometimes, simply taking time to pause and rest the mind can be enough to feel better in the moment.
Numerous studies have shown that meditation is an effective stress-management tool, ultimately reprogramming the brain to the extent that meditators end up with more capacity to manage stress when meditation is a consistent, daily practice. In fact, meditation has been scientifically proven to help alleviate stress after just eight weeks of regular practice.
That’s because in training the mind to be more open and less reactive, we’re better able to cope when life’s stressors — in work, family, relationships, school, finances, even traffic — start accumulating. Rather than being caught up in our stress, meditation teaches us to become the observers of certain mental patterns, and, therefore, become less affected by them.
Meditation for focus
Meditation has been shown to help people sleep better, stress less and, you guessed it, focus more. Headspace is meditation made simple. We’ll teach you the life-changing skills of meditation and mindfulness in just a few minutes a day.
Meditation for sleep
Healthy sleep has more to do with quality of rest than quantity of hours. Sleep meditations help create the inner conditions needed for a truly restful night. Because when we settle the mind, we rest the body — and that restfulness is what makes it easier to wind down and drift off.
In scientific terms, meditation helps lower the heart rate by igniting the parasympathetic nervous system and encouraging slower breathing, thereby increasing the prospect of a quality night’s sleep.
While working through a sleep-based guided meditation, you may discover new tools and techniques to help relax the body and mind and let go of the day, easing into restfulness.