A friend once invited me to a session of mindfulness meditation. She said she has been practicing it for a time now and it tremendously increased her productivity especially when brainstorming business ideas for her company. This made me Google what mindfulness meditation is all about.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
According to the University of California Center for Mindfulness, it is a quality that is inherent to human beings. However, not many people are aware that they have it, that it can be cultivated and that it is valuable. Mindfulness is being aware of thinking and of our surrounding through our sensory perceptions.
Positive Effects of Mindfulness Meditation
There is no doubt that mindfulness meditation brings positive effects to both the mind and the body. According to the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness study on 15,000 participants, mindfulness meditation brought about a 40% decrease in psychological symptoms and 35% decrease in medical symptoms.
For this reason, many meditation centers and healthcare facilities now offer stress reduction programs. Aside from significantly decreasing stress, meditation also improves function of the immune system, hastens recovery from illness and helps in management of pain. Practitioners observe an increase in energy levels, memory, mental function, concentration and decision making ability. It also aids in better digestion and sleeping. Due to these physical effects, a practitioner of meditation copes well with life changes and interpersonal relationships are improved. People see a more positive outlook in life thus, they are far from constant anxiety and irritability as well as depression. There are even reports that meditation can actually help in quitting smoking.