The study of mindfulness as it relates to health is an exciting, emerging field. This study discusses how mindfulness affects a variety of health outcomes.
I love the way the researchers define mindfulness: “Mindfulness is defined as a person’s awareness of his or her mental and physical states — one’s thoughts, emotions and needs.”
Too often, people confuse mindfulness with a heightened state of present-focused awareness. This often becomes interpreted as a hyper-focus on raw experience, which can be exhausting. Rather, mindfulness is more expansive and more akin to self-awareness, which encompasses emotions, memories, goals, etc.
One researcher hypothesizes that when people are more self-aware, their choices are more aligned with their values and goals.
One common theme across the field is that mindfulness is a practice. It is something that can be learned (a skill), and that must be practiced regularly to be effective (just like any other skill). And good news for those losing weight: it is correlated with a lower BMI.