Mindfulness and Mental Health

I have spent the last several months discussing how mindfulness can improve each area of our lives, and now I address the final area in which mindfulness proves to be important: mental health. Mental health is often the most difficult area to align, as the topic of mental health in general continues to be hidden in the shadows. Only recently have efforts been made to make mental health a safe topic of discussion, and it must be something we talk about more, considering that more than 300 million people suffer from depression, and roughly 7 percent of the world’s population suffer from an anxiety disorder. 450 million people suffer from some sort of mental disorder, and WHO predicts that at least 25 percent of the world population will experience a mental health issue during their lifetime. Scientific research has demonstrated that mindfulness can improve overall mental health in a number of areas.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

The entire focus of mindfulness is to be present in the moment. Being present allows you to refrain from negative thinking and avoid ruminating on either past or future concerns. Mindfulness has proven to reduce stress and anxiety. By focusing on the moment and what can be controlled in that precise instant, mental health improves. When your mind is more flexible in its environment, you can respond positively, adapt to negative situations, and even recall events more accurately.

Improve Emotional Regulation

Studies have also shown that the brain is responsive to mindfulness. Not only does this change in mindset encourage you to think clearly and objectively about your relationships, but mindfulness increases activity in areas of the brain associated with attention and emotional regulation. This offers a better understanding of psychological well-being, as people discover that they can self-regulate many of their symptoms associated with poor mental health. This connection promotes recognition of the negative emotions and subsequent harm, allowing you to actively select positive emotions and resulting health.

Treat Disorders

What is most interesting about mindfulness and mental health is that it is at the forefront of the latest therapeutic interventions. People treated for disorders such as substance abuse – a condition constantly plagued by the risk of relapse – have realized remarkable improvements when mindfulness is incorporated. Those with ADHD can also benefit, as mindfulness offers focus, and anxiety symptoms are reduced when individuals can improve their ability to rationalize. In fact, mindfulness can often be more effective than drugs for treating many mental health conditions.

I cannot impress upon you enough the potential that is unleashed when mindfulness is incorporated.

“Working with Anne-Marie has definitely transformed my life path. When I met her, I was in great pain due to grief from the loss of my mother, total dissatisfaction in my job, and serious health issues. Within a couple months of working with Anne-Marie, I gained clarity on what I wanted to do and my goals.”

Grace Kraaijvanger, Founder & CEO, The Hivery