Powerful Health Benefits of Mindfulness

The Powerful Health Benefits of Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is an exciting buzzword these days as more and more people are seeking ways to take charge of their thought patterns. The Powerful Health Benefits of Mindfulness lies in its simplicity – the art of mindfulness is a simple practice that focuses attention on the present moment, without judgement or excessive thought.
Mindfulness is similar to meditation, but the best thing about it is that it can be done at any time. You can bring mindful awareness into your daily life in almost any situation – no need to find a quiet space alone or count breaths (although focusing on your breathing is always a good idea!). In fact, mindfulness is often best practiced in the busy reality of life. After the past few months of endless stress, trauma, and uncertainty, we can all use a hearty dose of calming mindfulness!
Just like meditation and any other skills, mindfulness requires practice, patience, and dedication. But all that work is worth the effort! Living a mindful life opens you to more opportunities, cheerful moments, peace, understanding, and grace. With practice, mindfulness will feel less like an activity and more like your natural state. You will find yourself more careful, more attentive, and less stressed.

Let’s dive deeper into the practice of mindfulness and learn how to practice mindfulness daily.

Mindfulness: The Secret to Deep Healing

Do you know how amazing your body is? Really! Without any intention on your part, your body carries out countless tasks every second of the day to help you stay healthy and strong. Our wounds magically heal, our lungs pull in air, our intestines extract just the right amount of nutrients. Our cells regenerate, our muscles memorize movements, and we adapt to change.
When we suffer from pain, fatigue, or chronic health issues, it’s easy to forget how amazing our body is and start blaming it for our suffering. We may even feel angry at our body or wish it performed better. The truth is, your body is mighty and powerful, no matter how sick or broken you feel. The key is to harness this strength by loving and appreciating your body while encouraging the self-healing process through mindfulness.
Mindfulness stops the reckless thinking that leads to stress, depression, anxiety, fear, worry, anger, resentment, grief, shame, and many other negative emotions. Mindfulness draws our awareness into the moment – the now – and the power of life itself. Mindfulness equips us with the listening power that helps us understand our bodies better. Through mindfulness, we can take back control of our lives and enjoy living in the present. With a clear mind, our bodies can focus on the more important tasks at hand – healing, repairing, restoring, and preventing.

Releasing Expectation and Judgement

An important aspect of mindfulness is non-judgement. As you pull yourself into the present and experience your surroundings fully, be careful not to label or judge anything you see, hear, smell, or feel. Negative emotions arise when we begin to judge things.
For example, expectations of a quiet house can cause disappointment or anger when cheerful children laugh wildly. To practice mindfulness, absorb the sounds of the laughter, but don’t judge or label this noise. Let it pass through you. Something I like to repeat when practicing mindfulness is “It is as it is. It is as it should be.” Throughout the tough transition to working from home, this idea greatly helps me remember that life is perfect the way it is, and frustration only comes from my own expectations.

The Invaluable Health Benefits of Mindfulness

There are endless health benefits of taking on a mindfulness practice. Here are just a few of my favorite reasons why we all need to stay mindful.

1. Stress-Relief

Most people are eager to try anything that helps relieve stress. Fortunately, mindfulness is one of the most accessible (and free!) ways to put a stop to chronic stress. Practicing mindfulness gives our brains a break from the “monkey mind” and stops the cycle of stressful thinking. With less stress, our bodies produce less cortisol (the stress hormone) which improves our mental clarity, hormonal health, and even our waistlines.

Another important way that mindfulness relieves our stress is with control. Many of us feel stressed when we feel out of control. Too many commitments, difficult situations, or seemingly unsolvable problems can make us feel like we are lost without a map. Mindfulness gives you a compass for your own mind. At any time, you can employ your mindfulness techniques to stop the spiral and take back your mental power.

2. Emotional Freedom

Mindfulness is the ticket to living in the moment and finding freedom. Staying present prevents the thought patterns that lead to depression (ruminating on the past) or anxiety (worrying about the future). When we stop to think about it, most moments of the day are not really that intense, tragic, or fearful. We feel worried, stressed, angry, sad, or resentful because we are either living in the past or the future. We relive old problems, re-punish ourselves for old mistakes, or even create arguments or problems in our head that haven’t happened.

Mindfulness pulls us out of these painful memories or unlikely futures by attaching our attention to what is actually happening in the now. When you find yourself lost in negative thought processes, stop to look around. Pay attention to what you see as if you were an alien on a foreign planet, or a child with brand new eyes. What colors surround you? What noises do you hear? What is still? What is moving? You’ll typically find that all is well. You are safe, you are living.
This has been a common issue for my patients (and me!) throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As a society, we have been absorbed by bad news, fear, and “what-if’s.” While this was a necessary response based on the issues at hand, constantly fretting the future, worrying, and wondering what could have been only makes our struggles harder. Now as we move forward, I encourage you to use mindfulness to protect your mental health while remaining alert and informed.

Along with keeping our mental health steady, mindfulness also offers us great learning experiences. Without the judging mind constantly labeling things as good or bad, right or wrong, we are free to experience life as it really is. You may find yourself noticing interesting things that you never noticed before. A world of opportunity and amazement is out there when we free our minds from excessive thought and judgment.

3. Overall Health

The power of mindfulness has an overarching effect into our entire lives. Not only does mindfulness keep us sane, but it improves our physical health too! As we mentioned before, mindfulness can reduce the amount of cortisol we produce. This in turn keeps our hormones in a better balance, reduces excess fat accumulation, and improves stress-induced issues like headaches, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Mindfulness also helps us tune in and listen better to our bodies. You’ll have a keener awareness of what foods fuel you and which cause problems. You’ll enjoy your food more and realize when you’re full faster when you eat mindfully. You’ll notice which stretches strengthen your body best. Mindfulness also helps us to avoid harmful habits like mindless snacking, drinking, and even poor posture.

Mindfulness for Health

Are you ready to transform your life with the power of mindfulness and holistic medicine? Contact me to find out more about our special programs, acupuncture treatments, and nutritional coaching. The power to heal is inside of you – let’s awaken it! I truly believe that each and every one of you has the power already inside of you to reach your biggest health goals and feel amazing. In fact, I might even say that you don’t really need to see me or any other practitioner to get on top of your stress, emotional health, or general wellness. Might…
The better idea is to combine the power of mindfulness with tools that help you to reach your goals faster, boost your morale, and keep you on track. When we combine mindfulness with treatments like acupuncture, herbal formulas, supplements, and other tools, we supercharge your body’s healing potential and create the perfect environment for success.
Here are some great ways to combine mindfulness with your ongoing therapy routine:
  • Use acupuncture to improve mindfulness practice and relieve stress. Acupuncture is a known method for centering the mind and improving mood and emotional balance. During your acupuncture treatment, stay mindful of all the sensations happening in your body. What do you feel? Where is your attention? What comes to mind? These are powerful messages and can help guide you through treatment. If you are suffering from a specific health issue, use mindfulness during your treatment to focus in and listen to the troubled area. Your body often tells you what it needs for best health, we just have to listen.
  • Mentally commit to a dedicated program that fits your health needs. I offer a variety of specialized, transformational health programs that help you jumpstart your journey to more vibrant health. Along with tailored treatments, you’ll also learn the diet, exercise, and mindfulness habits necessary to keep yourself on track at home. Taking on one of my programs focuses your attention on to your goals, setting you up for success. Mindfulness is a key ingredient for success with my programs, and one that you’ll learn to carry with you long after our job is done.
  • Define your desired habits and goals to maintain your focus. Putting pen to paper is a magical thing. Find a quiet place and sit down to really define what you want to achieve. Write down how you want to feel, what steps you need to get there, and the daily habits that will pave the road to success. Most lists should include an appropriate amount of daily meditation, an on-going mindfulness practice, movement, great food choices, and weekly or monthly holistic care (acupuncture, massage, herbs, etc…). This simple list is your blueprint for a focused – and mindful! – plan of action. If you need help creating your health blueprint, I am always happy to work with you to help develop your plan!

Stop, Look, Listen: Everyday Mindfulness

Becoming more mindful is really as easy as it sounds. Stop. Look around. Listen. It will take time to train your brain to ignore the rambling thoughts that pass through as you take a moment, but over time mindfulness will become your natural state.

If you are new to mindfulness, start by setting an alarm on your phone for a certain time each day. When that alarm sounds, no matter where you are, stop and experience what is happening in that moment. Release any judgement and take it all in, like a painting in a museum. After a minute or two, you will feel more relaxed and accepting, and you’ll likely be better equipped to take on the rest of the day’s challenges with an open heart and mind.

Hi! I'm Angela

Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Integrative Wellness Consultant and Mood-Gut expert.

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