The Effectiveness of Mindfulness in Mental Illness

(Last Updated On: August 12, 2018)

The Effectiveness of Mindfulness in Mental Illness

The topic of mindfulness has been circulating among healthcare professionals as a new form of treatment that is delivering a long list of results among those who have a mental illness. Not only has it been proven to reduce the risk of anxiety and depression, but it has even been known to cure different forms of mental illness that are considered to be incurable. Those who are looking to recover from mental health issues can consider practicing mindfulness to reap the rewards and improve their well-being. Much like the benefits of hypnotherapy, mindfulness may help treat quite a few different mental disorders.

30 Day Meditation Challenge

Reduces Stress Levels

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is considered to be a key element in alleviating stress and is now promoted by thousands of practitioners. It can allow individuals to remain calm in stressful situations and feel more in control of their emotions and actions until the moment passes.

Many celebrities are known to practice meditation as a way to manage stress and remain calm throughout the day. Clint Eastwood has been practicing mindfulness for decades and continues to utilize it daily to reduce anxiety and improve his mood.

“I’ve been using it for almost 40 years now – and I think it’s a great tool for anyone to have, to be able to utilize as a tool for stress. Stress, of course, comes with almost every business,” states Eastwood.

Jerry Seinfeld is also a proponent of the method and utilizes it to improve his mental health.

“I’ve been practicing Transcendental Meditation most of my life. I think that does something to your nervous system. It has given me a calmness I don’t think I had at 19. It’s like having a charger for your whole body and mind,” states Seinfeld.

Promotes Better Sleep

Having lower stress levels throughout the day can make it easier to improve the quality of sleep at night. Mindfulness can be a form of treatment for sleep apnea and insomnia, which can allow individuals to feel more rested once they wake. Because the energy levels can become higher, many people can begin to have healthier relationships with their family members and friends.

By obtaining a higher quality of sleep, it’s possible to have higher levels of productivity in the workplace because adults are capable of focusing for more extended periods of time.

Decreases Burnout

Burnout is a common symptom among those who have mental health issues, which can lead to turnover at work. Studies have shown that many individuals are prone to staying at their job for longer periods of time rather than quitting due to mental stress and feeling overwhelmed. Burnout is one of the leading contributing factors to depression, which can make it challenging to thrive and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

According to forbes.com, MBCT can help individuals realize what’s happening around them and engage in a way that is compassionate and with equanimity. The method is even known to work just as effective as medication, which can prevent patients from becoming dependent on prescription medicine and have a more natural way of dealing with the illness. Decreasing burnout can be most effective on those who have borderline schizophrenia.

Improves Body Satisfaction

One of the most common side effects of suffering from mental illness is body dissatisfaction, especially among women. The satisfaction with their body may be due to a heightened level of negative thoughts that they experience throughout the day. By practicing mindfulness and meditating, many women’s perspective of themselves can begin to improve within three months. More people learn to have more compassion towards themselves and others, which can allow them to love and appreciate who they are both internally and externally. They’re less likely to body shame themselves or associate their self-worth with their appearance, which can allow them to treat themselves and others with more respect.

In some cases, it can even help to promote weight loss by obtaining better weight-loss strategies and staying focused on your goals. Mindfulness is known for making individuals more positive, which can reduce the risk of backsliding or returning to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Increase Cognitive Function

Mindfulness has also shown to increase cognitive function in children and adults by improving visuospatial processing and improving the memory. After a few days of participating in a mindfulness program, many patients have shown that they have increased attention levels and obtain the same benefits as those who are long-time meditators.

Avoiding distractions can also increase cognitive function and is an additional benefit of practicing mindfulness. Participants in mindfulness studies made attention-based adjustments that made it easier to remain focused on a specific subject and suppress irrelevant or distracting sensations while regulating the flow of sensory information in different brain regions.

Reduce Loneliness

According to huffingtonpost.com, mindfulness can also make it easier to feel less lonely, especially among older adults. Loneliness can lead to a long list of health issues for many seniors, but mindfulness can boost longevity. Studies show that older adults not only feel less lonely when practicing it each day, but they can also have improved moods that make it easier to thrive later on in life.

Medical practitioners suggest that one of the most important ways of obtaining long-term benefits of mindfulness is to practice it daily. Forming a daily habit of practicing mindful meditation can alleviate the symptoms that are associated with mental illness and allow the patient to overcome their condition.

About the Author

Alex Moore HeadshotAlex Moore is a Psychology Undergraduate and blogger interested in the power of mindfulness and its uses. He believes that mindfulness and meditation can contribute to general  happiness and a well- balanced lifestyle. Catch him writing for www.schizlife.com .

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Author Matthew Sockolov

Matthew Sockolov is a Buddhist meditation teacher and author. He was empowered to teach meditation by Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and is the founding teacher of One Mind Dharma. His new book, Practicing Mindfulness - 75 Essential Meditations is now available on Amazon.

More posts by Matthew Sockolov