Monday, October 7, 2013

Mayo Edge: Mindfulness Meditation Can Be Effective Tool

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is it true that mindfulness exercises can help reduce stress? What does it involve?

Meditation is a group of practices that train the mind to be more focused and relaxed, as well as more compassionate and less judgmental. Mindfulness is one form of meditation that involves focusing intently on the present: what you're feeling or sensing in each moment. It can be a very effective tool in reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, and bringing an overall sense of calm to everyday life.
It's normal for people's minds to wander throughout the day. In fact, studies have shown that the average person is distracted for nearly 50 percent of the day. And unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of that time that the mind is wandering, it's actually focused on neutral or negative thoughts. Thinking about how much there is to do, or about regrets from the past can cause stress, anxiety, or even depression.

People who practice mindfulness and other forms of meditation, however, learn how to better control what they focus on, or direct their attention to. This allows them to move away from negative thinking, which can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, as well as better overall mood. And it works not only during the actual time spent meditating, but also throughout the day. Those who regularly practice mindfulness can quickly recognize when the mind is wandering, and are therefore able to redirect it to focus on something more positive. (MORE)

Source: Post Bulletin

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