You may have already come across the idea of mindfulness as a potent tool to cultivate a more peaceful existence and achieve a greater level of wellbeing. According to Psychology Today, there are a number of nootropics or brain-enhancing agents that can help you achieve this level of zen and increase your mindfulness.
A Quick Background on Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a pretty amazing concept to grasp. It suggests that the human mind is fully present and attending to what is happening, what you are doing at the moment, and the space you’re moving through.
This might sound petty to some, but consider that life usually moves very fast and the mind takes flight nearly all the time. This cuts off our natural connection with our body, and soon we’re taken over by obsessive thoughts and anxiety over what will happen next.
We can define mindfulness as this: the basic human ability to be fully present and aware of where one is and what one is doing. It is also a state of not reacting or getting overwhelmed by what is going on in the immediate environment.
You can be mindful by spending the first five minutes of your waking hour relaxed and thinking of nothing but your breathing and the fact you are alive! But given the bustles of life, it can be quite difficult sometimes to achieve this state. Here is where nootropics, or brain enhancement agents, may they be supplemental herbs or synthetic components, come in and extend a number of benefits.
Nootropics for a Mindful State
Cognitive enhancement doesn’t come easily and readily, which makes nootropics an important commodity today. If used properly, these substances safely enhance the users’ cognitive functions and abilities.
You might be surprised how widely studied nootropics are, including in placebo-controlled studies that show they can improve mindfulness. Here are five herbs that are hailed by research for their potential in improving levels of a person’s mindfulness.
- Panax ginseng – This age-old all-around herb has been seen to improve mood, focus, energy, and even nervousness. A generally safe and legal nootropic ingredient, it is also shown in preliminary evidence to have a “small positive impact” on mindfulness. Panax ginseng can be used in different ways, such as as non-extract powder and different levels of extracted doses.
- Sage – Another mindfulness booster is sage, which has also been studied to have effects in mood, memory, focus, energy, sociability, learning, and intelligence. Interestingly, it is found to have no side effects.
- Lemon balm – Two studies examined the effects of lemon balm on measures of mindfulness, and concluded that it has a minute positive effect on it alongside mood, nervousness, stress, and intelligence.
- Cocoa – There are perhaps few ingredients more flexible and widely used than cocoa. Now even for mindfulness, it has been found to have a positive impact, along with physical performance, stress, and learning. Don’t forget that it’s chock-full of polyphenols and antioxidants that scour dangerous free radicals in the body!
- Turmeric – Three studies vouch for the positive impact of this spice on mindfulness. It has also been hailed helpful in improving focus, energy, sleep, learning, and uplifting mood. Turmeric might not sit well with everyone because of gastrointestinal complaints, but it is generally safe and legal to use – and is in fact a staple in cooking among different cultures.
Note that in achieving balance, energy, and calm (and a mindful state of being), the key is to lower your cortisol levels and improve your insulin sensitivity, helping lower blood sugar responses throughout the day.
Other beneficial nootropics for this purpose include ashwagandha, commonly known as Indian winter cherry and one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda; the widely celebrated apple cider vinegar for restoring healthy energy levels and lowered blood sugar; and astragalus root with its far-reaching benefits in traditional Chinese medicine.
You can balance your mind and body the nootropic way – and start with an unmistakably mindful state that you can maintain through the most hectic and demanding of days.