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50: Why Mindfulness Matters?

August 7, 2019

In Point of Health episode 50, “Why Mindfulness Matters?" Melissa Shiah, manager, population health for BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York discusses what mindfulness is, why it’s important, and how you can use it in your daily life.

Episode Highlights

What is “Mindfulness”? (1:50)

Mindfulness is the state of active, open attention on the present. When you are mindful, you are actively observing your thoughts and your feelings without judging them as good or bad.

What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation? (2:13)

There are many different forms of meditation. Mindfulness is a form of meditation, but not all meditation is a form of mindfulness. Mindfulness is about focused attention on the present. One example is paying close attention to your senses as you drink a cup of tea. In a mindful practice, you pay attention to the warmth of the cup against your hands, the smell of the tea leaves, and the taste the drink leaves on your tongue.  Mindfulness is all about seeking something beautiful in the moment.

How can I introduce myself to mindfulness? (3:20)

Mindfulness is all about reframing an experience. When practicing mindfulness, you rethink mundane tasks to make it more pleasurable. A simple exercise you can practice is rewiring your experience at a supermarket. Rather than viewing the task as a necessary evil that you want to finish as soon as possible, take time to appreciate the moment. Take your time to pick out foods that you want to make with your family. Take a breath and smell the aromas of the bakery. Be patient and use a curious lens as you go through the store.

What are the health benefits of mindfulness? (5:50)

Some health benefits of practicing mindfulness include:

  • Calming attitude 
  • Improved control of emotions
  • Decreased stress levels
  • Increased mental clarity
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Increased connection to the body
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved circulaton

What are some practical ways to implement mindfulness and meditation? (6:26)

Some mindful practices include:

  • Practicing gratitude every day
  • Taking a few minutes out of your day to observe your surroundings
  • Meditating for a few minutes in the morning
  • Practicing "square breathing"
  • Journaling your experiences 
  • Cutting out technology for an hour before going to bed
  • Pausing between tasks to reenergize yourself
  • Practicing yoga

Additional Resources

At BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, we offer many different programs to help improve mental health. If mindfulness interests you, check out some of our resources and events:

Wellness Resources

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