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How Does Mindfulness Reduce Stress and Fear?

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There has been much research done on the effects of mindfulness meditation on stress reduction. Researchers have reviewed more than 200 cases of mindfulness studies on healthy people and found mindfulness therapy especially effective for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. What is mindfulness meditation and how can mindfulness reduce stress in stressful situations?

What is mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness meditation involves training your awareness. Mindfulness is awareness unrestricted to the senses and its objects. For example, awareness of the eyes seeing a form. Rather, it is an awareness that is conscious of what is happening inside rather outside. We can never change what is happening outside of us. There are many external conditions changing our plans. Our decisions are dependent on many other individuals’ choices. Then, there is the weather, news, and Covid 19, which has changed how we live and work.

The pandemic has taught us the danger of looking outside of ourselves for solutions. In reality, the only thing we can take care of is inside of us. How then, can mindfulness reduce stress in even the most stressful situation?

What does it mean to stay present?

Mindfulness meditation teaches awareness to stay in the present. Present consciousness is aware of the changing states of body sensations, emotions, and thoughts. On an ordinary day, our consciousness fleets from one thing to another. Such as being absorbed in the task of cooking, working, talking, and looking after children. Amidst all these tasks, one’s attention is also dispersed in having to maintain relationships at work and home.

Relaxation is possible everywhere

By becoming aware of your body sensations, emotions, and thoughts, you recognize the changing flux of life. No matter what you strive toward, there are constant changes in the external environment, which is experienced internally. Learning to let go and accepting constant flux, including your ever-changing emotions, the body relaxes. This can happen also when faced with fear and danger that could threaten your life. Fear itself, does not last forever.

Although we know intellectually the impermanence of all things, there is no awareness of it. We have been trained to distract ourselves since the day we were born. Unless we can train our mindfulness in looking within, without being dependent on external things, we would always be at the mercy of the constant flux of change. Contact us for an 8-week mindfulness online course to train your mind in learning to be stable and calm in all situations.

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