Mindfulness And How It Can Help You Lose Weight, Deal With Depression And Have Better Sex
Mindfulness, it sounds very Zen doesn’t it?! You’re probably imagining yourself in a yoga pose, sitting still…looking very hippie.
Before you disregard it and chug it to things those enlightened, free-spirit, nonconformist creative types do, hear me out.
Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness rather nicely as “paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally…as if your life depended on it.” He recommends it as “a way of connecting with your life… that doesn’t involve a lot of energy” but rather “a kind of cultivating attention in a particular way.”
When we practice mindfulness, we allow our thoughts and feelings to move through us without taking over and getting us lost.
Mindfulness aims to help you:
- become more self-aware
- feel calmer and less stressed
- feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings
- cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts
- be kinder towards yourself
Make Progress Toward Your Weight-loss Goals
A survey by Consumer Reports found that mindfulness, is a good weight loss strategy. That’s because the focus of dieters should be more on the role their emotions play in weight management, rather than solely on exercise and calorie control or eating less.
Mindfulness practice involves accepting whatever arises in your awareness at each moment. It involves being kind and forgiving toward yourself.
A clinical study involving overweight and obese women found that mindfulness intervention for stress eating, while not designed to induce total weight loss, did stabilise weight among those who were obese. Researchers also found that greater frequency of eating meals mindfully was slightly related to weight loss, noting that, “Minimally, these techniques may support weight maintenance efforts, and actual weight loss might occur for those participants who eat a high proportion of meals mindfully.”
Decreasing Depressive Symptoms
One of the ways in which mindfulness can help treat depression is through enhancing practitioners’ ability to regulate their emotions. Mindfulness provides the tools needed to step back from intense negative emotions, identify them, and accept them instead of fighting them. This allows mindful thinkers to better regulate their emotions, leading to better coping and management of depression.
Mindfulness has long been considered an effective supplemental treatment for depression. It has been found to decrease depressive symptoms, anxiety and stress in college students, as well as increasing self-compassion when compared with yoga alone (Falsafi, 2016).
Mindfulness enhances our sex life
How, you ask? By helping bring our thoughts back into the present moment. Research published in 2011 in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that mindfulness meditation training – where a person learns how to bring thoughts into the present moment – can enhance a woman’s sexual experience (and by extension some men’s sexual experience).
Apparently, self-judgemental chatter often fills a woman’s mind during sex, preventing her from enjoying the full sexual experience. However, college women who meditated were quicker to become aroused when viewing erotic photos compared with non-meditating women.
Learn Mindfulness techniques and exercises here