Psychology Today is a treasure trove of latest scientific insight into human psyche. Due to its inveterate curiosity, it couldn’t pass the opportunity to explore such popular topic as mindfulness. That’s why I’m offering you a selection of 10 best mindfulness articles from Psychology Today, along with my favorite quotes.
1. Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be difficult. At any moment, you can turn to the most essential process that keeps you alive to feel alive. The author of the article writes:
Breathing is a key mindfulness practice because it is something we always do out of necessity, and it’s also a good way to bring our awareness back to the here and now. Taking three or four deep breaths (and paying attention to them) at any given moment can help you calm down and focus.
2. Seven Lessons in Self-Control We Can Learn From Mindfulness
If you struggle with self-control, mindfulness can help. The author writes:
As a self-control strategy, mindfulness encourages a greater tolerance of emotional states. Mindfulness training invites the individual to identify and acknowledge each feeling as it arises. The goal is to identify and accept the feeling, but not act on it or attempt to fight it.
We can learn to respond to challenges, not react to them. Read the article here.
3. A Mindfulness Secret to Breaking a Bad Habit
Eating, drinking, shopping, using social media — almost any activity can become addictive. Noticing this tendency in yourself is the first step to recovery. The author writes:
Mindfulness can help interrupt addictive habits by providing insight into why we use them, helping us remain conscious of their impact from the start, which can pave the way for wiser responding in, particularly in high-risk, or triggering situations. With time, these triggers can become more tolerable as we learn to notice instead of escape.
Learn five steps for interrupting addictive habits by reading the article here.
4. Five Ways Mindfulness Practice Positively Changes Your Brain
The research shows that mindfulness practice changes the brain. The author writes:
Perhaps the most robust finding is that mindful states achieved through meditation, as well as informal mindfulness practices, boost frontal brain activity, especially the dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortices. With time, this increased cortical strengthening bolsters our capacity for rational thought and intentional planning, promoting effective executive functioning, limbic modulation (emotional awareness and control), and impulse control as a function of the amount of time spent in meditative and mindful states.
Sounds interesting? Continue reading the article here.
5. How Mindfulness Can Reduce Procrastination
This article focuses on “research that explores possible mechanisms in the relation between mindfulness and procrastination”:
If we can cultivate mindful awareness and acceptance, we can better understand when and why we’re motivated to procrastinate, and this in turn can promote more willful attempts to exercise the control necessary to stay the course until the initial emotions pass.
If you want to learn more, read the author’s thoughts on the subject here.
6. Curing Depression with Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can help with depression. The article explains:
The MBCT technique is simple, and revolves around “mindfulness meditation”. In this, you sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. Concentrating on the rhythm of the breath helps produce a feeling of detachment. The idea is that you come to realize that thoughts come and go of their own accord, and that your conscious self is distinct from your thoughts. This realization is encouraged by gentle question-and-answer sessions modeled on those in cognitive therapy.
Related book: The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
7. Mindfulness Could Be a Powerful Painkiller
Your physical pain may be unavoidable but suffering, the way you relate to pain, can be optional. The author of the article writes:
A typical meditation involves focusing on different parts of the body and simply observing with the mind’s eye what you find. This allows you to see your mind and body in action, to observe painful sensations as they rise and fall, and to let go of struggling with them. And when you do this, something remarkable happens: Suffering begins to melt away. This practice also creates a relaxed state of mind that reduces the level of stress hormones in the body. Such deep relaxation can enhance healing and boost mental and physical health.
Related book: Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief by Jon Kabat-Zinn
8. For Anxiety, Mindfulness Can Be as Helpful as Medication
For anyone struggling with anxiety, mindfulness can become a powerful additional tool on the path to recovery. The author writes:
It is important to note that mindfulness may not be able to replace medications for everyone. A combined approach that integrates medication options, mindfulness, and psychotherapy is often highly effective. Mindfulness offers a viable alternative or complementary option to medication-based treatments for anxiety.
For more information, read the article here.
9. Mindfulness: The Antidote for Perfectionism
Embracing imperfection is difficult but possible. Here’s how mindfulness can help you do that:
When we recognize the inner critic as nothing more than an entrenched mental habit, we shift our relationship with it. Instead of trying to pacify the voice of judgment, we name it and create some distance. Thanks anyway. That’s judgment, and now I’m coming back – not wrestling with you today. Instead of believing the nagging, perfectionistic voice, we pause, look towards the balcony, and come back to real life once again.
Keep perfectionism at bay by reading the article here.
10. Mindfulness and Cultivating Creativity
I love the story that opens this article:
There is a story about the maestro Michelangelo when he was working on the David. It’s said he sat in his studio for months looking at the giant piece of marble that would eventually become his masterpiece. After a time, his patrons came to him and said, “We hear you have stopped working!” to which he replied, “I have been working every day.”
Explore the link between mindfulness and creativity by clicking here.
About the publication: Psychology Today is the world’s largest mental health and behavioral science destination online. It is the original and largest publishing enterprise that is exclusively dedicated to human behavior. Its motto is “Here to Help,” and the resources you will access are the worldwide destination of choice for expert*-authored information about psychology and mental health.
Complement with 3 best mindfulness articles from Thought Catalog.