February 15, 2023

Why are Meditation and Mindfulness Good for your Mental Health?

Both meditation and mindfulness make you slow down and become less reactive. This is essential for good mental health.

Written by

Nicole Biggs

Both meditation and mindfulness make you slow down and become less reactive. This is essential for good mental health.

Meditation and mindfulness are wonderful in helping anxiety. If we lead a busy life where we rarely stop, we will greatly increase our likelihood of suffering from high anxiety and panic attacks. Meditation and mindfulness make us slow down and disengage from the anxious thoughts flitting from one thing to another. It is often called ‘grounding’ you, when you come back down to earth from flying around trying to do everything all at one. This ability to slow down and ground yourself is an essential skill to help people to cope with anxiety.

Anger can often be really helped through meditation and mindfulness. This is because anger is often a defensive reaction to something. It can therefore often also be linked to the fight or flight response. A calming down of this response therefore often leads to a calming down of the anger. Being calm also helps you to think more clearly, and rationally. This then enables you find solutions to the issue that has caused the anger reaction more easily. By becoming calm the anger no longer overwhelms you, and so you are in a better place to start to deal with it and its causes. It helps you to gain control over the emotion. 

The calming effect, which then allows you to gain control of the emotion, can then be used with other mental health issues. Mindfulness and meditation can therefore be used to help with grief, depression, loneliness, confusion, despair and other such emotions. This is because the act of slowing down and disengaging from your thoughts leads to a period of relief from these damaging and debilitating thoughts. It also encourages you to let go of the past, which is what usually troubles people with grief and depression. This slowing down, just concentrating on one thing at a time, and letting go of the past then helps you to find peace, clarity and hope. 

Hypnotherapy could be described as a form of guided meditation. Therapist’s rooms are also usually places that promote a sense of calm and safety. We use smells (essential oils), music (calming sounds) and surroundings (soft lighting, comfy chairs, and soft cushions) to help our clients relax as soon as they arrive. This is because the state of being calm is essential for us to be able to feel safe in order to explore our emotions and to find answers.

There is then the whole issue of spirituality. Therapists (including me) often work with clients holistically. This means that we work with the whole of them, and not just the issue that they have come for help with. Seeing someone holistically includes their spiritual side. Spirituality is vital to a person’s mental health. People with depression often say that they have lost their belief in the world or other people. Therefore, in order to help such a person, it is necessary to address this loss of belief. This does not mean imposing your belief of the world on them. Instead, it means encouraging them to find their belief again, to explore their own spirituality.

A tried and tested way of exploring your spirituality is of course through meditation. To quieten yourself and look inward to work out what you believe in. This of course does not need to be part of an organised religion. You can still be spiritual without a religion. Spirituality is essential to our sense of belonging and purpose. It helps to ground us and make us feel part of something bigger. It also helps to connect us to others who share our beliefs. 

Therefore, I believe that meditation and mindfulness are very good practices to adopt to maintain a good mental state. They provide quiet moments of contemplation and peace, which are vital in our busy world. They help quieten any mental health issues, enabling you to explore what lies beneath them. They help to develop your spirituality, and so help you to feel that you belong and gives you a sense of purpose. 

For more information, or just a chat, please contact me on 07742 209312 or nicole@greenoaktherapies.co.uk

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