As men’s mental health is thrust into the spotlight for this year’s Movember, we look at the impact of meditation and mindfulness on mental health.
You might assume men harbour negative attitudes towards meditation. However, a study conducted by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health found that 90% of male respondents perceived meditation to be helpful.
Men face a whole host of societal and economic pressures that can lead to stress, such as the dated notion they must be the epitome of masculinity or the breadwinner of the household.
Mindfulness and meditation aims to counteract that stress and it has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, according to a study by the University of California. Cortisol is a steroid hormone linked to stress.
Practicing mindfulness is as easy as closing your eyes, clearing your mind and reflecting on your conscious and subconscious thoughts.
Or the NHS describes it as reconnecting with our bodies by paying attention to the five senses and being present in the moment.
While, stress can be natural bodily response, in excess it can have a deteriorating effect on mental health.
If you’d like to try mindfulness Kingston University has meditation spaces available at the Faith and Spirituality Centre at the Penrhyn Road campus.
Or, if you’d like to practice from the comfort of your own home, apps such as Headspace and Calm are available on the app store.