Mindfulness and Meditation, Do They Really Work?

Well…yes, they do really work. The fact is, science shows definite health benefits for people who use mindfulness and meditation.

Before we dive in, let’s just make sure we’re on the same page when we say “mindfulness” and “meditation.”

“Meditation” is the ancient practice of connecting the body and mind to become more self-aware and present. It’s often used to calm the mind, ease stress, and relax the body.

Practicing “mindfulness” is one of the most popular ways to meditate. It’s defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness meditation is well studied in terms of its health benefits. I’m going to talk about a few of them below, and refer to it as “mindfulness” for the rest of the post.

 

THE LINK BTWEEN MINDFULNESS AND HEALTH = STRESS REDUCTION

Have you heard the staggering statistics on how many doctors’ visits are due to stress? Seventy-five to ninety percent!

So, if you ask me, it makes a ton of sense that anything that can reduce stress can reduce health issues too.

Mindfulness reduces inflammation, reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and improves sleep. All of these can have massive effects on your physical and mental health.

I’ll briefly go over the research in three main areas: mood, weight, and gut health. But know that the research on the health benefits of mindfulness is branching into many other exciting new areas too.

 

MINDFULNESS FOR MOOD

The most immediate health benefit of mindfulness is improved mood.

In one study, people who took an 8-week mindfulness program had greater improvement in symptoms according to the “Hamilton Anxiety Scale.” They were compared with people who took a stress management program that did not include mindfulness. It seems that the mindfulness training was key to lowering symptoms.

Other studies show that mindfulness has similar effects as antidepressant medications for some people with mild to moderate symptoms of depression.

While mindfulness isn’t a full-fledged cure, it can certainly help to improve moods.

 

MINDFULNESS FOR WEIGHT

Studies show that people who use mind-body practices, including mindfulness, have lower BMIs (Body Mass Indices).

How can this be?

One way mindfulness is linked with lower weight is due to stress-reduction. Mindfulness can reduce stress-related and emotional overeating. It can also help reduce cravings and binge eating.

Another way it can work for weight is due to “mindful eating.” Mindful eating is a “non-judgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating.” It’s the practice of being more aware of food and the eating process. It’s listening more deeply to how hungry and full you actually are. It’s not allowing yourself to be distracted with other things while you’re eating, like what’s on TV or your smartphone.

People with higher mindfulness scores also reported smaller serving sizes of energy-dense foods. So it seems that more mindful eating = less junk.

Mindfulness about food and eating can have some great benefits for your weight.

 

MINDFULNESS FOR GUT HEALTH

Recent studies show a link between stress, stress hormones, and changes in gut microbes (your friendly bacteria and other critters that help your digestion).In theory, mindfulness-based stress reduction could be a way to help prevent negative changes in the gut’s microbes.

Also, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) seems to be linked with both stress and problems with gut microbes. In one study, people with IBS who received mindfulness training showed greater reductions in IBS symptoms than the group who received standard medical care.

The research here is just starting to show us the important link between stress, gut health, and how mindfulness can help.

 

CONCLUSION

Science is confirming some amazing health benefits of the ancient practice of mindfulness meditation. For moods, weight, gut health, and more.

Do you regularly include it in your life? If so, have you seen benefits? If not, would you consider trying it?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

RECIPE: Relaxing Herbal Teas

There are many relaxing herbal teas that would be great after meditation.

Try any of these by steeping in boiling water:

  • Green tea (has a bit of caffeine, or you can choose decaffeinated green tea)
  • White tea (also has a bit of caffeine, or you can choose decaffeinated white tea)
  • Rooibos tea
  • Peppermint tea (or steep fresh peppermint leaves)
  • Ginger tea (or steep slices of real ginger)

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a touch of honey if desired.

BONUS Guided Meditation “Recipes” (videos, apps & podcasts)

How to Meditate video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0y1Lu0L8nU&index=5&list=PLerdqrUWzOkd7m9HQj1yfJiI09pwVhPcD

How to Meditate in One Minute or Less Every Day video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtG8No-MMOM&list=PLerdqrUWzOkd7m9HQj1yfJiI09pwVhPcD&index=10

Breethe App *MY FAVOURITE!! 

https://breethe.com/

Calm App

https://www.calm.com/

Headspace App (free 10-day trial)

https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app

Daily Meditation Podcast

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/daily-meditation-podcast/id892107837?mt=2

Hay House Meditations Podcast

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hay-house-meditations/id955266444?mt=2

 

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/benefits-mindfulness-meditation/

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm

https://authoritynutrition.com/mindful-eating-guide/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4454654/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26186434

About Me


Hi, I’m Tracy! I create food solutions to feed your life goals. I’m a Nutritionist, chocoholic + superhero fan. Mom to three, wife to one, crazy about all four, and food! When you work with me you’ll learn to savour life and nourish all that it has to offer.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

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Having dessert on-hand is a regular thing in my house and I can teach you how to have it too without all the unnecessary sugar spikes, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, and weight gain that go along with the wrong kind of sugar. 

For starters, try using dates as your form of sugar. Its far healthier than the addictive white processed sugar that is one of the leading contributors of chronic disease.

Dates provide a slow-releasing form of sugar and are heart healthy with their generous amount of potassium. Their soluble fibre help to lower bad Cholesterol and they basically defy the dogma that all sugar is bad.

Theyve also been used as a traditional remedy for sore throats, colds, and bronchial issues. 

Of course, if youre trying to avoid sugar completely for a period of time, then these wont do. But, were nearing the holidays so whos doing that...!?!

Contact me to learn how we can work together to conquer your cravings without giving up dessert through the #linkinbio

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Having dessert on-hand is a regular thing in my house and I can teach you how to have it too without all the unnecessary sugar spikes, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, and weight gain that go along with the wrong kind of sugar.

For starters, try using dates as your form of sugar. It's far healthier than the addictive white processed sugar that is one of the leading contributors of chronic disease.

Dates provide a slow-releasing form of sugar and are heart healthy with their generous amount of potassium. Their soluble fibre help to lower bad Cholesterol and they basically defy the dogma that all sugar is bad.

They've also been used as a traditional remedy for sore throats, colds, and bronchial issues.

Of course, if you're trying to avoid sugar completely for a period of time, then these won't do. But, we're nearing the holidays so who's doing that...!?!

Contact me to learn how we can work together to conquer your cravings without giving up dessert through the #linkinbio

#cravings #moodswings #chronicdisease #wholefoods #rightsugar #sugar #processed #cleaneats #chocolate #dessert #foodforthought #getclean #nutritionist #goals #feelbetter #newyou #2020 #snack #snacktime #wellness #brainhealth #hormones #hormonehealth #happy #nutrients #fruit
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Wow those look tasty. Also, people are very seldom allergic to dates ☺ I love them with raw natural almonds. Or as a syrup or paste to sweeten things naturally

Love my dates!

Im OVER-THE-MOON to be speaking @blendcateringco s first cooking class of 2020 called New Year, New You!

Well be covering meal planning and how to incorporate the best quality ingredients for you or your family for 2020! Knowing Chef Erica, your meals will probably look beautiful too.

Check out her beautifully styled food over at her page and if youre planning a party, corporate event, or even a wedding, then youll want to check out her elevated style of cooking and website.

https://www.blendcateringco.com/ 

#local #food #cookingclass #learntocook #2020goals #goals #foodgoals #mealplan #nutritionist #chef #bossbabe #chef #passion #cookwithpassion #hamiltonevents #entrepreneur #goodeats #cleaneats #foodofinstagram #beautifulcuisine

I'm OVER-THE-MOON to be speaking @blendcateringco 's first cooking class of 2020 called New Year, New You!

We'll be covering meal planning and how to incorporate the best quality ingredients for you or your family for 2020! Knowing Chef Erica, your meals will probably look beautiful too.

Check out her beautifully styled food over at her page and if you're planning a party, corporate event, or even a wedding, then you'll want to check out her elevated style of cooking and website.

www.blendcateringco.com/

#local #food #cookingclass #learntocook #2020goals #goals #foodgoals #mealplan #nutritionist #chef #bossbabe #chef #passion #cookwithpassion #hamiltonevents #entrepreneur #goodeats #cleaneats #foodofinstagram #beautifulcuisine
... See MoreSee Less

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