In the wake of the pandemic overall there are lower levels of mental and physical wellbeing. Levels of stress and anxiety are being exacerbated by worries about the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine and ongoing environmental degradation. In an aging population with less access to the NHS many are living with chronic pain. More women are struggling with the process of menopause and access to the medicines they need. Procrastination and rumination abound.
Research evidence strongly suggests that mindfulness meditation can increase mental and physical wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety and can help people to age well and cope with health conditions such as chronic pain and symptoms of menopause; it also reduces rumination and procrastination and supports more clarity of thinking so that we are able to respond skilfully to the challenges we face. This is why practising is so important now.
Today I have been looking at meta-analyses around the benefits of mindfulness which examine the data from a number of research studies on the same subject in order to investigate consistency of effects across the studies. Therefore, meta-analyses give an overview of the available research in mindfulness which is now extensive.
In relation to stress, research suggests that mindfulness meditation reduces the physiological markers of stress such as levels of cortisol, systolic blood pressure and heart rate. It also suggests that mindfulness is a powerful adaptive strategy that may protect middle-aged and older adults from the harmful effects of stress on mental health.
In relation to chronic pain research suggests that mindfulness meditation improves pain and depression symptoms as well as quality of life. In addition, practitioners are able to reduce pain unpleasantness while in a mindful state.
In relation to aging, research indicates that mindfulness is positively associated with physical activity, healthy eating and sleep, all of which help us to age well. Interestingly, the enzyme telomerase is associated with healthy aging and research suggests that mindfulness meditation leads to increased telomerase activity. Also, research suggests that a regular mindfulness meditation practice, including loving kindness and compassion is protective against Alzheimer’s disease. The Mindfulness Association’s approach to mindfulness maintains a consistent focus on loving kindness and compassion, which is often missing in other approaches.
As far as menopause is concerned research suggests that mindfulness meditation can improve the qualitive of life of menopausal women. In particular, mindfulness meditation has a role in supporting the psychological adjustments that help women to embrace this time of change.
From the research evidence one might start to think that mindfulness is a panacea, which is not the case. It can be challenging to familiarise ourselves with the contents and habits of our minds. This is why the Mindfulness Association provide long term systematic training and support in mindfulness meditation by experienced mindfulness teachers with over a decade of mindfulness and compassion meditation practice experience. The thousands of people that we have worked with over the years demonstrate again and again the myriad benefits of mindfulness for wellbeing and happiness. To hear what our course participants say, have a look …HERE…
We are a not-for-profit organisation and keep our prices as low as we can with flexible payment options. In addition we have a widening access scheme for those who cannot afford to attend our courses.
Written by Heather Regan-Addis
Heather Regan-Addis is a Founder Member and Director of the Mindfulness Association.
Heather delivers training for the Mindfulness Association on our two Post Graduate Master’s degree courses as well as on our regular courses in Mindfulness, Compassion, Insight and on our Teacher training programmes.
- To help support your practice on this life journey we have a daily guided meditation practice Monday to Friday 10.30am and 7pm
- The Mindfulness Association has in place a widening access policy so we can help you attend courses if you are struggling financially, we don’t want this to prevent you from your practice.
- Try our FREE 4 WEEK email Course HERE
- Mindfulness Association Membership is also a great way to support your practice on this journey. For only £10 for a 6 month trial you can have access to fortnightly teachings, access to free recorded practices and a free members weekend packed full of teachings and opportunity to network with other mindfulness practitioners.
- Post Graduate Studies. 2 Msc. courses.
- UPCOMING COURSES