Mindfulness can be beneficial to everyone, however, it can be particularly beneficial to those suffering from any mental illness.
Mindfulness can help you manage your thoughts and feelings rather than being overwhelmed by them. Those who take part in mindfulness meditation have proved to have shown an increase of activity within the region of the brain which is associated with positive emotion, this part of the brain is called the pre-frontal cortex.
In people with depression, there is usually a lack of activity in this area. However, practising mindfulness meditation can and will improve the amount of activity in this area.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to affect how the brain works, and even its structure. That is why it is important for both those suffering from mental illness, and those who aren’t, to practice mindfulness in order to improve mental health and their overall wellbeing.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. It is reconnecting with our bodies, and allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. Rather than focusing on the issues of the past or future. Becoming more aware of the present moment, can allow us to positively change the way we see our lives and positively change our lives themselves. Mindful awareness allows us to notice anxiety and stress earlier, therefore allowing us to deal with them better, before the person feels consumed by their emotions. Although, it is also a great way to relieve yourself if you are consumed and overwhelmed by your emotions.
For mindfulness to be most effective, it is important to practise it regularly. As well as practising mindful meditation, you can become more mindful in your everyday life by taking notice of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations as they occur in the present moment; noticing the world around you is also an important step in becoming more mindful.
There are many different mindfulness techniques, but the ones I would most recommend as I have found them to be the most beneficial, is mindfulness meditation and yoga.
I have practised mindfulness meditation many times over the years, however, sometimes I fail to stick to my practise; it can be extremely hard to keep up with when your mental illness takes all of your motivation away.
When I practise mindfulness regularly, I have seen an improvement in my own mental health. It allows me to process thoughts subconsciously whilst focusing on the present moment only. A big step in mindfulness is accepting your thoughts, rather than fighting them. Once you accept your thoughts and feelings, you can let them pass. I have found mindfulness useful in aiding concentration, as well as providing insight into my thoughts and emotions. Which leads to an improved wellbeing for myself, as well as giving me the ability to improve relationships and various areas of my life.