Expert ensures that the practice of living a ‘full awareness’ every second of life brings great benefits to the health of mind and body
There is No doubt that stress is one of the enemies of the health of mind and body of the generations of today.
And is that as explained by the American Association of Psychologists (APA), in a statement, “we have all felt stress in our life. Sometimes, for a brief moment in front of any situation, like being caught in a heavy traffic and other times for prolonged times with a complex and persistent than can be related, either, with our romantic relationships or family members, the illness or death of a loved one, job loss, or falling in a bad economic situation.
That is to say that the stress is there, involved in our lives and, in some cases we are not aware of it not aware of its presence and the changes it’s causing in our health, mind and body.
“Stress is dangerous when it interferes with the ability to live a normal life for an extended period of time. One can feel ‘out of control’ and have no idea what you should do, even if the cause is relatively insignificant. This, in turn, can cause one to be continually fatigued, can not concentrate or are irritable in situations that normally calm”, explains the APA. “And when it is prolonged it can increase any emotional problem that has resulted from traumatic events in the past, and increase thoughts of suicide”.
The good news
And as the negative effects of stress have always been obvious, the good news is that techniques have been developed to control it, and there are also disciplines of mind control, meditation and relaxation that have been shown to work, as is the case of “mindfulness”, an ancient meditation technique of India, which consists in taking awareness of the present moment, of reality.
“The practice of mindfulness has gained popularity in recent times, due to its effectiveness and scientific support,” says Dr. Eric López Maya, specialized in psychology.” “And this is because there is a great need to find practical resources for coping with the stressful situations of daily life and are able to live from a different perspective, more healthy”.
And as highlighted by the founder and director of the Mexican Institute of Mindfulness, “we live in uncertain times and we need to learn to manage our attention to be able to be in the present moment in a balanced way. In addition, there is a large amount of research to support the results of mindfulness, which helps to establish his credibility.”
The expert, who is currently taught at the a course in Spanish (in virtual form) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on this ancient discipline, ensures that research has demonstrated that mindfulness has many benefits.
1. Stress reduction
“When we practice [daily] mindfulness, we learn to respond and not react automatically to what happens to us”, explains López Maya. “Being in the present moment we can choose how we face what happens to us on a daily basis, which has beneficial effects for health in terms of reduction of symptoms associated with stress, such as hypertension, headaches, muscle tension, gastrointestinal disorders, etc.”.
2. Improvements in the immune system
The scientific research on stress have shown that when you are stressed, the immune system tends to not work properly. “This is, particularly, in the mechanism of chronic inflammation, which may be a precursor of many diseases”, explains the psychologist, winner of the Award for Dissertation of the School of Public Health of the University of California at Berkeley. “But this can be improved through the practice of mindfulness. The results of a research we did in the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA showed significant reductions in the levels of inflammation for Latino participants”.
3. Anxiety Control
The anxiety, usually, is included within the symptoms of stress.
“A lot of times arises because our thoughts run wildly into the future with concerns and stories to be catastrophic. The mindfulness training can help these concerns do not affect us so much and therefore lessen the symptoms of anxiety. This has been shown in various investigations in the past 20 years,” explains López Maya, who has a certification in the practice of stress reduction based on mindfulness (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR) from the Center Mindfulness of the Medical Center of the University of Massachusetts.
4. Prevention and control of depression
Because with the technique of mindfulness is achieved the capacity to be aware at every moment of our feelings and sensations are real; as well as to identify those things that are or are not under our control, is a technique of relaxation and meditation is great for helping to prevent or manage depression.
“Many cases of depression have their origins in patterns of thinking that are not healthy for us,” denotes the psychologist. “Sometimes we believe that ‘nobody loves us’, or that ‘life is not worth’, and if we believe what they say those thoughts is likely that we don’t feel very well. Mindfulness helps us to perceive these thoughts as thoughts and not as realities, which can improve our mood,” says López Maya.
5. Improves attention and concentration
According to the expert, this practice “can help us to be more efficient in our daily activities, including our work.”
“In research I conducted in both the united States as in Mexico, those who practiced mindfulness [in our samples] they were able to perform tasks with much greater attention and without making as many errors as those who didn’t practice”, settles the researcher and instructor of the beneficial practice.