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The Science of Mindfulness: Benefits and easy ways to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life

This Place in your life 26.12.23 5 min. read

In the fast-paced rhythm of modern life, where the demands of our schedules often leave little room for personal reflection, finding moments of tranquility and self-awareness can be a real challenge. The constant hustle and digital distractions make it difficult to pause and connect with our inner selves.

Unfortunately, it is precisely these moments of deceleration and inner connection that are so important for our overall happiness and well-being. 


The good news: there's a powerful antidote to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. An opportunity to rediscover the present moment: Mindfulness. 


Mindfulness – the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something can offer a sanctuary from the hectic pace of daily life. 


The beauty of practicing mindfulness lies in its simplicity: it can be as straightforward as taking a moment to observe your surroundings, savor the flavors of your food, or feel the texture of a piece of fabric— a gentle pause to appreciate the simplicity of the here and now.


As we step into the new year, a time for new beginnings, let's try to embrace mindfulness together. Join us in this article as we explore 5 scientifically validated benefits of mindfulness and discover practical ways to seamlessly weave them into your everyday routine.

 


5 Benefits of Mindfulness 

1. Stress Reduction

There is evidence suggesting that mindfulness can be effective in managing stress and anxiety. So much so, that the term Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has gained a lot of popularity in recent years.

MBSR is a structured program designed to teach individuals mindfulness meditation to alleviate stress and promote well-being. A 2015 meta-analysis, reviewing 29 studies with 2668 participants, confirmed MBSR's effectiveness in reducing stress, depression, anxiety, and distress, while enhancing the quality of life in healthy individuals. However, the study highlighted the need for further research to identify the most effective components of the MBSR program.   [6]


2. Improved Focus and Concentration

Regular mindfulness practices are also thought to improve general concentration and focus. Different studies have confirmed this, showing that mindfulness-based interventions, when incorporated regularly over a longer period of time, can effectively enhance attention and cognitive flexibility. [3; 7]


Cognitive flexibility is "the ability of the brain to adapt behavior and thoughts to new, changing or unexpected events."  [10]

 

3. Enhanced Emotional Well-being 

By cultivating awareness of emotions without judgment, mindfulness can contribute to emotional intelligence and a more balanced emotional state. 

Research suggests that mindfulness is associated with enhanced self-awareness and positive emotional states. In psychotherapy, early research suggests that mindfulness training may improve emotional regulation, with one study finding it connected to better emotional understanding and less emotional lability, i.e. rapid and exaggerated changes in mood. [1; 4]

4. Better Sleep Quality

Other studies suggest that mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing and meditation, can promote better sleep by calming the mind and reducing insomnia. Though further research is required to clarify the exact impact of mindfulness on sleep, we at This Place can definitely attest to the power of a nightly ritual. Keep reading to find our favorite evening ritual with The Good Night below.  [5; 8; 11]


 5. Increased Self-Awareness and Improved Relationships

Mindfulness fosters empathy and active listening, which can in turn lead to more meaningful and connected relationships with others. Research has demonstrated the efficacy of mindfulness practices in improving relationship satisfaction, autonomy, and overall well-being for couples. Additionally, studies highlight the crucial role of emotion skills, cultivated through mindfulness, in promoting healthier romantic relationships. [2; 9]


 

5 Easy Mindful Practices for Your Daily Routine

 

Having uncovered the well-being benefits associated with mindfulness, let's now explore practical methods to effortlessly integrate mindful practices into your daily life. By providing simple examples of mindfulness, our aim is to empower you to seamlessly incorporate these practices into your routine  – and reap the associated benefits soon!

1. Mindful Breathing

Start your day with a session of deep breathing, laying the groundwork for positive hours ahead. Integrate brief breathing exercises throughout your day, particularly in bustling moments, to reclaim focus and center your mind.

One simple method is the 4-7-8 technique. Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale audibly through your mouth for a count of 8. This practice not only engages your breath but also promotes a sense of calm and focus.


2. Mindful Eating

Elevate your dining experience by fully engaging in all sensory aspects of your meal. 

Deliberately slow down instead of hurriedly consuming your food, taking small bites and allowing the flavors to unfold on your palate. 

Notice the various tastes, whether sweet, savory, or bitter, and appreciate each nuance. 

Pay attention to the textures, feeling the crunch, smoothness, or juiciness with each bite. 

Additionally, embrace the scent of your meal, letting the aroma contribute to the overall sensory experience. 


Throughout the meal, redirect your attention to the present moment, guiding your mind back to the flavors, textures, scents, and the act of eating. This intentional focus cultivates gratitude for the nourishment received and promotes a healthier relationship with food.


3. Tech-Free Time

Allocate specific intervals in your day to disconnect from screens, and instead fully engage in the present moment. For example, consider putting away your phone during your daily commute.


If you're using public transport, resist the temptation to check your phone or listen to music. Instead, observe the passing scenery, listen to the ambient sounds, or strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler. 


For those walking to school, university, or work, elevate your daily stroll into a mindful practice. Feel each step connecting with the ground, be aware of your breath, and take in the sights, sounds, and sensations around you.


This intentional break from technology allows you to stay connected with the present moment and your surroundings.



4. Body Scans

Body scans are a great way to foster mindfulness and connection with your own body. This practice involves systematically directing attention to different parts of the body, promoting relaxation and a heightened sense of awareness. Incorporating them into your bath routine before bedtime can be a fantastic way to unwind.


Set the scene by dimming the lights, playing soft music, or lighting candles to create a serene atmosphere. Fill your bathtub with warm water, and consider adding The Mineral Bath for a luxurious and soothing detox experience. 


As you slide into the bath, pay attention to the sensation of the warm water, the scent of the Mineral Bath, and the overall experience. Immerse yourself fully in the present moment.

Once your breathing has calmed down, you can start the body scan. 


Guide your attention from your toes to your head, taking slow and deliberate breaths. Picture each part of your body as you move your awareness through it, deliberately letting go of any tension or stress. If your mind starts to wander, gently guide it back to the body part you were focusing on.


Once you’ve finished the body scan, stay in the bath for another few moments, appreciating the sense of calm and relaxation you have created for yourself. 


Additional suggestion: For us, no evening is complete without The Good Night and its accompanying ritual. This soothing sleep cream, enriched with botanical melatonin, palo santo, lavender, and blue tansy, creates a serene moment for relaxation, reflection, and a restful night's sleep. Discover The Good Night ritual and more about the product here.


Sources:
  1. Brown, Kirk Warren, and Richard M. Ryan. “The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 822–848. More Info
  2. Carson, James W., et al. “Mindfulness-based relationship enhancement.” Behavior Therapy, vol. 35, no. 3, 2004, pp. 471-494. ELSEVIER, More Info
  3. “Does Mindfulness Meditation Enhance Attention? A Randomized Controlled Trial.” 2010. SpringerLink More Info
  4. Hill, Christina L. M., and John A. Updegraff,. “Mindfulness and its relationship to emotional regulation.” Emotion, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 81-90. More Info
  5. Howell, Andrew J., et al. “Relations among mindfulness, well-being, and sleep.” Personal and Individual Differences, vol. 45, no. 8, 2008, pp. 773-777. ELSEVIER, More Info
  6. Khoury, Bassam, et al. “Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol. 78, no. 6, 2015, pp. 519-528. Science Direct More Info
  7. Moore, Adam, and Peter Malinowski. “Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility.” Consciousness and Cognition, vol. 18, no. 1, 2009, pp. 176-186. ScienceDirect, More Info
  8. Shallcross, Amanda J., et al. “Waking up to the problem of sleep: can mindfulness help? A review of theory and evidence for the effects of mindfulness for sleep.” Current Opinion in Psychology, vol. 28, 2019, pp. 37-41. ELSEVIER More Info
  9. Wachs, Karen, and James V. Cordova. “Mindful Relating: Exploring Mindfulness and Emotion Repertoires in Intimate Relationships.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 2007. Online Library Wiley More Info
  10. “Was ist kognitive Flexibilität?” CogniFit More Info
  11. Winbush MD, Nicole Y., et al. “The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Sleep Disturbance: A Systematic Review.” EXPLORE, vol. 3, no. 6, 2007, pp. 585-591. ELSEVIER More Info
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