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The Anti-Stress Alphabet: M for Mindfulness


It's time for breakfast. While you sip your coffee, you check the latest emails and messages left on your social media. You have multiple tabs open on your computer, and your phone keeps buzzing with notifications. You think you can multitask, but in reality, your attention is limited, and you end up feeling frustrated for not making much progress with your work. Plus, your coffee has gone cold. Does this sound familiar?


In this world full of stimuli and distractions, where we are constantly bombarded with information, it is increasingly difficult to maintain concentration. Over time, this cognitive overload affects our personal and social well-being. An excellent way to regain control of our attention and find calm amid all this chaos is through the practice of mindfulness. In this post, we will explore what it entails and its proven benefits.


We call mindfulness the practice of consciously paying attention to the present moment without any judgment. It simply involves observing what is happening both inside and outside of us. During this practice, we are aware of our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without being carried away by them.


Mindfulness can be practiced in various ways, depending on each person's needs and preferences. Among the most common methods are body scanning, which involves observing sensations in different parts of the body at a given moment, or thought observation, where we focus on what goes through our mind, accepting it and letting it flow. It is also possible to integrate mindfulness practice into our daily activities, such as eating, walking, or doing household chores, paying attention to what we are doing without getting lost in distractions. There is no "correct" way to practice mindfulness; each person should find the one that best suits their lifestyle and practice it regularly.



The application of mindfulness in a therapeutic context is carried out through structured programs like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which includes formal and informal mindfulness practices. Various studies have shown significant mental health benefits associated with practicing this program. For example, a 2010 study by Goldin and Gross demonstrated a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety and improved self-esteem in subjects with social anxiety after completing a two-month program. Additionally, there are studies linking mindfulness to improved cognitive function, enhancing abilities such as attention and memory (Zainal and Newman, 2023).


In conclusion, mindfulness is a powerful tool to cultivate calm, mental clarity, and overall well-being. It’s not about doing it "perfectly," but about finding a practice that fits your life and allows you to connect with the present moment. The main key is consistency and patience. Give it a try and enjoy the experience.


References:

  • Goldin, P. R., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on Emotion Regulation in Social Anxiety Disorder. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 10(1), 83. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018441

  • Zainal, N. H., & Newman, M. G. (2024). Mindfulness enhances cognitive functioning: a meta-analysis of 111 randomized controlled trials. Health Psychology Review, 18(2), 369–395. https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2023.2248222


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