- Kate Mihevc Edwards PT, DPT
Mindfulness and The Body
Updated: Sep 28, 2021
The idea of achieving a quiet mind can be overwhelming, impossible, or laughable depending on your perspective. I personally used to struggle with the idea of meditation and sitting still. My to-do list and type A personality so often got in the way.
BUT…I like science and science says practicing quiet, silence or mindfulness can have astounding positive impacts on the physical body and your health and wellbeing.
Mindfulness has been shown to:
-Lowers heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate
-Decreases stress hormones in the body
-improve brain chemistry
-Decrease physical pain
This is the short list.
Mindfulness training can help us from ourselves. It can help our brain from wandering endlessly or perseverating on negative thoughts and emotions and we can learn to move through them. It can help you when we are struggling with physical pain.
If you are an athlete, you might not think this is important. But don’t you have to be able to focus and clear your mind to perform in your race or event?
Or how about the executive? Or the creative? Don’t you have to find a way to focus and mold your thoughts to put them out in the world and create meaningful impact?
Mindfulness is not new. I know it is difficult to stop what we are doing to “do nothing” but when the science proves it is good for us, we should really listen.
Zhang D, Lee EKP, Mak ECW, Ho CY, Wong SYS. Mindfulness-based interventions: an overall review. Br Med Bull. 2021;138(1):41-57. doi:10.1093/bmb/ldab005
Galante J, Friedrich C, Dawson AF, et al. Mindfulness-based programmes for mental health promotion in adults in nonclinical settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. PLoS Med. 2021;18(1):e1003481. Published 2021 Jan 11. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003481
Vago DR, Zeidan F. The brain on silent: mind wandering, mindful awareness, and states of mental tranquility. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016;1373(1):96-113. doi:10.1111/nyas.13171
Black DS, O’Reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):494–501. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8081