Mindfulness and its usefulness in reducing stress and anxiety
A tense professional situation, a family environment with important differences or the difficulty in achieving certain personal challenges can very often generate situations of stress and anxiety. The existence of past and future fears or doubts about the evolution of events generate internal tensions that affect our quality of life and mind-body stability. In addition to the traditional therapies of psychology, in recent years alternative therapies such as mindfulness have taken on special relevance, of which you can find more specialized information. This is something that even official organizations (such as the COP, Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid) have recommended to patients to improve their situation in stressful situations or anxiety processes.
- Related article: 7 benefits of online Psychology
But what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be defined as the method that aims to achieve full attention through special attention to the present moment and not to the past or the future. Among its principles, it tries to accept the present without more, without trying to change it or without judging ourselves permanently. By achieving full awareness of «the here and now», we can renounce the distractions that our own mind sometimes subjects us to.
Mindfulness was first applied in 1979 in the United States to help people who were suffering from a high level of stress as a result of chronic illness. Today there is a lot of medical and scientific research that has proven the effectiveness of mindfulness for mental health, but also on a physical level.
It has been shown to be particularly useful for people with high levels of stress and anxiety, for children who need to apply self-control or for people who need to increase their resilience in life in situations such as illness or other situations that have occurred. In short, a method worth implementing following professional recommendations.
- Related article: 10 advantages of online therapy
Specific benefits of mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety
To combat stress and anxiety, mindfulness has shown very interesting concrete benefits, which are shown below:
1. Relieving mental fatigue
By achieving a situation of full awareness and attention, the person is able to realize what is happening to him or her in every moment. This prevents the emotions, impulsiveness or artificial threats that the brain creates from affecting day-to-day life. In this way, a more peaceful state of mind is achieved, without fatigue and with a greater concentration on what is truly important: the present moment.
2. Better mood
The stressful situations and fictional problems that we sometimes imagine force us to maintain a state of mind of excitement that usually leads to a worse mood and a greater proliferation of conflicts, both at work and in the family. These unsustainable levels of pressure affect our thoughts and emotions, reducing our well-being and thus our mood. Mindfulness has proven to be useful in relaxing character by avoiding unnecessary conflicts and giving everything its place without being affected by its own conditioning.
3. Capacity for self-regulation
Mindfulness provides people with skills that develop after continuous training over time. One of them is self-regulation, which allows us to act in a more serene way by getting control of our mental state when facing stress situations. We observe our body, interpret its signals and control those emotions that harm us. A self-regulation that will help us to be more serene and calm.
4. Improved performance and concentration
Mindfulness helps to achieve a more organized, resolute and productive state of mind by preventing past or possible future problems from affecting us. By focusing on the present moment we improve performance in daily work tasks and the level of concentration in each of them. In addition, distractions caused by stressful mental states or by emotions that until now seemed uncontrollable are reduced. If there is one goal of mindfulness, it is to achieve full attention in the current moment.
As you can see, mindfulness has many benefits for people in situations of constant stress and anxiety. The result is a calmer, more productive way of making decisions and living in the present moment, something that is fundamental both on a personal and professional level, as it removes the ghost of mental fatigue.
By Brenda R. Bodemer