MENTAL WELLNESS

A Guide on How Mindfulness Techniques Can Benefit Your Mental Health

Mindfulness techniques can help deal with anxiety and stress

Mindfulness exercises are one of the many types of meditation

Practicing mindfulness has psychological and physiological effects

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
November 19th, 2021
13 mins read

The pandemic highlighted the importance of physical wellbeing. It encouraged people to take care of themselves and be proactive about their fitness. Now, with most people vaccinated, the pandemic may be on its last legs. But researchers fear that a mental health epidemic is now on its way [1]. Lockdowns and loss of close ones induced panic, fear, and anxiety in many. This has led to a decline in mental health. The inability to ask for help due to restrictions added to these troubles as well [2].

Mental issues, like other health issues, need medical attention. Mindfulness techniques can help, especially in dealing with anxiety and stress. Mindfulness means paying attention to your present without any judgment. It helps you become more accepting of your present. With this sense of acceptance, you react less and become generally happier.

Mindfulness techniques include several subconscious mind exercises. In fact, you can practice mindfulness while doing everyday activities. Read on to know more about mindfulness exercises and how they can help.

What is meditation?

Meditation is part of an ancient and rich Indian tradition. It focuses on finding peace within yourself and living in harmony with your surroundings. Many people rely on it to feel at peace in the stressful modern world. There are different types of meditation techniques that you can practice.

Some popular types of meditation techniques are:

  • Spiritual

  • Mindfulness

  • Visualization

  • Progressive

  • Transcendental

  • Movement

  • Focused

  • Mantra

  • Loving-kindness

No technique can be considers as the best meditation technique. It depends on what works for you and what you can practice regularly. Different types of meditation need you to master different techniques. Typically, you need to consider 3 key factors when choosing one technique, which are:

  • Daily schedule

  • Comfort

  • Purpose for meditating

Additional Read: Importance of Yoga in Modern Life

Why practice mindfulness meditation techniques?

There are many benefits of meditation. Studies show the importance of mindfulness meditation for better mental balance. Mindfulness techniques cause positive changes, influencing hormone and chemical production in the body. Practicing mindfulness also affects different regions of the brain.

Here is a table to depict how it improves parts of your brain and their function [3]:

Brain area

Improved function

Hippocampus

Memory

Superior longitudinal fasciculus; corpus callosum

Communication between brain parts

Front polar cortex/BA 10

Self-awareness

Sensory cortices and insula

Body awareness

Anterior and mid cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex

Emotion regulation

Practicing mindfulness trains your nervous system too. Some of the benefits are:

  • Relaxes your body after a stressful situation
  • Lowers your heart rate and blood pressure
  • Slows your breathing and reduces muscle tension

Mindfulness also impacts cortisol levels, C-reactive proteins, and interleukin 6. This reduces your risk of:

  • Heart problems
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive conditions

So, don’t underestimate the importance of mindfulness meditation and its impact on your emotional health. This meditation reduces the impact of pain on parts of your brain. This reduces your emotional response to pain. Mindfulness meditation can calm your amygdala as well. This is the region that responds to threats. It reduces the activity in this area and improves neuron density in the prefrontal cortex. This in turn reduces the size of the reactive fear region of the brain.

How to incorporate mindfulness techniques in everyday life?

You can practice mindfulness techniques while you go about your day. Consider it more of a lifestyle than an exercise. Here are some ways you can incorporate mindfulness techniques into everyday life.

Take a walk

Step out for a walk, and focus on:

  • Sensations
  • Sounds
  • Scents

Ensure that you stay away from your phone. Try your best to stay in the moment during the exercise.

Make tea or coffee

Practice mindfulness while brewing a beverage of your choice. Try your best to focus on every part of the activity, which can be to:

  • Concentrate on every step
  • Smell the aroma of tea leaves or coffee powder
  • Notice the steam rising from the pot
  • Feel the warmth of the cup
  • Take small sips
  • Enjoy the flavor without any distractions

Practice mindfulness while doing household tasks

Don’t rush through chores. Instead, make them opportunities to practice mindfulness. Take your time while doing your dishes, cleaning them slowly. Dance while you mop the floor. Daydream as you wait for your laundry or the microwave to warm your food!

Additional Read: How We Can all Develop Regular Exercise Habits: An Important Guide

Practicing mindfulness can help you keep anxiety and stress at bay. It helps to have professional guidance, especially if you are facing a hardship. For professional care, reach out to mental health professionals on Bajaj Finserv Health. Choose a doctor as per your preference and comfort. Remember, when it comes to mental health, comfort is everything. The right doctor can help you improve your frame of mind and help you keep track of your progress.

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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