More research on mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation apps are becoming increasingly popular as they suggest that they can decrease anxiety and depression. Part of anxiety that some struggle with is rumination or worry over things that happened or are out of their control. When these thoughts are visited over and over, it often can increase those annoying anxious feelings (heart racing, tummy ache). Mindfulness is being researched at a rapid pace and Forbes recently published an article stating that mindfulness can help with mind-wandering, which is often a trait of anxious people. Here is a statement from one of the studies authors: 

“Our results indicate that mindfulness training may have protective effects on mind wandering for anxious individuals,” said study author Mengran Xu in a statement. “We also found that meditation practice appears to help anxious people to shift their attention from their own internal worries to the present-moment external world, which enables better focus on a task at hand.”

As we work hard to focus on being present, we become less focused on our internal thoughts which are often the ones that are increasing the anxiety to begin with. There are many different apps out there to try if you are interested in jumping into mindfulness practice. Here are a few that I recommend: Calm, Headspace, One Minute Meditation, 10% Happier (the app that led me to this article), Aura, and Smiling Mind. These apps are all free to download and most offer free guided meditations. Insight Timer is one of my favorite that offers meditations focused on everything from loving kindness, chakras, anxiety, empowerment, and sleep. 

If we can ease ourselves into focusing more on the present, we will end up more in tune with others and ourselves and be able to fully live in the NOW. Here is a link to the article: