The Benefits of Starting Your Day with Mindfulness
Cultivating a daily practice of mindfulness has proven to have long lasting effects on stress reduction and overall mental and emotional wellbeing. A daily practice can be as short or long as your schedule can accommodate or as you personally desire. However, making a habit of any mindfulness practice will positively and significantly improve your quality of life in multi-dimensional aspects. Below are the most evident and researched benefits that adopting a daily practice of mindfulness can bring to your life:
Supports Alertness and Impulse Control
Stress impedes the connections between the prefrontal cortex, the part responsible for decision making and the hippocampus, where memories are created. Practicing mindfulness increases the grey matter (connection points) in the learning parts of the brain and is reduced where the brain issues flight or fight responses to the body. Therefore, mindfulness helps one become more aware, alert, and in control of their impulse reactions and behaviors.
Supports Academic Goals
Research shows that readiness to learn is actually a better predictor of academic performance than measured IQ. Therefore, practicing daily mindfulness helps in learning how to be present and create awareness in the present moment, allowing you to improve your ability to focus, learn and retain information. As you set goals for the academic year, you might want to consider setting goals for creating a daily mindfulness practice that could in turn help you reach your academic goals.
Proven to be Effective
There is now an average of 40 new studies published every month to report the positive impact of mindfulness. The most positive impact on academic progress is reported in the studies of these that focus on daily practice results. Daily practice results showed a 15% increase in average GPA, a 28% increase in performance in reading, math, and science, a 60% reduction in misbehavior, and a 43% reduction in reported teacher stress.
Research has measured and proven the significant impact of incorporating mindfulness into one’s daily life. This can look differently for different individuals. In order to establish mindfulness as a habit, it might help to invite a friend or family member to join you on this journey. However, it can also be easily embarked upon alone.
There are multiple mobile applications you can download to follow a guided meditation, or you can consult the Greater Good Science Center’s website for short and simple mindfulness exercises, such as the Gratitude Mindfulness exercise.