The Many Benefits of Mindful Eating and Mindfulness Meditation
Research indicates that mindful eating and mindfulness meditation can fundamentally shift your relationship to food and your body, providing a natural foundation for healthy weight management (and if needed, healthy weight loss).
There are a number of ways this works, as explained in How Mindfulness Works and Solutions. But in addition to specific eating and body-related benefits, mindfulness meditation, concentration meditation (a related practice taught in the complete Mindfulness Diet program) and mindful eating offer many additional benefits.
The following list includes many benefits for which there is strong evidence, and others for which preliminary research is promising but not conclusive. Of course, the more consistently you are mindful, the more likely you will experience the benefits that are most relevant to your unique mind and body.
|aging||Delay in age-related decline|
|anger||Reduction in anger (improved anger management)|
|anxiety||Reduction of anxiety, both acute and chronic|
|blood pressure||Reduction in blood pressure|
|cancer||Improved quality of life during cancer treatment|
|cholesterol||Reduction of cholesterol levels|
|chronic fatigue||Improvement in chronic fatigue syndrome|
|cognitive function||Enhanced cognitive function|
|depression||Reduction in symptoms of depression|
|emotional distress||Decreases in emotional distress|
|heart||Lowered heart rate|
|immune function||Enhanced immune function|
|intelligence||Increases in intelligence, school grades and learning ability|
|lifespan||Increase in lifespan|
|marriage||Increased marital satisfaction|
|memory||Improvement in short-term and long-term memory|
|migraine||Improvement in migraine symptoms|
|OCD||Reduction of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)|
|pain||Improvement in chronic pain conditions|
|PTSD||Reduction of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)|
|pregnancy||Reduced complications from pregnancy|
|psychological issues||Improvement in treatment of psychological conditions|
|quality of life||Enhanced quality of life|
|sleep disorders||Improvement in sleep disorders|
|stress||Overall stress reduction|
|substance abuse||Reduction of substance abuse|
|tension||Reduced muscle tension|
|weight||Enhanced weight management|
Murphy, M., and Donovan S. (1997). The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation: A Review of Contemporary Research with a Comprehensive Bibliography 1931-1996 (2nd Edition). Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences.
Natural Standard Meditation Monograph prepared for the Indiana University School of Medicine. Copyright ©2010 Natural Standard Inc.
Wilber, K., Engler, J. & Brown, D.P. (1986). Transformations of Consciousness. Boston: Shambhala.