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What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Evidently, the meaning is in the name…to be mindful. Elaborating on this, it is to be fully aware of one’s surroundings and actions. Once you are in the present moment, taking notice of where you are and what you are doing, you are in a state of total awareness. This is when you try not becoming too overwhelmed. You should be calm and relaxed, not taking anything too seriously, letting go of everything in your mind and around you. You will flow naturally into the meditation, nothing is forced.
“quiet the mind and the soul will speak” ~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
The ultimate goal of this meditation is to focus your attention on your thoughts and emotions, acknowledging them and letting them pass along with no judgement. Doing this on a daily basis has an effect the most vital organ in your body- the brain. The brain changes its structure, in a GOOD way…the part of the brain responsible for stress, depression and anxiety decreases in size, therefore reducing the effects of stress on the body emotionally and physically. Essentially, feeling much MUCH happier in life, as proven by anyone who practices mindfulness.
“The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.” – Prasad Mahes
How to meditate?
Now for how to actually do mindful meditation. Follow these simple steps.
1) Choose an empty room
Find an empty space to sit quietly alone in where you won’t be disturbed. Remove any distractions around you and switch of the television and your phone. There should be complete silence while practicing mindfulness meditation, which is why it is also recommended to perform this in the morning.
2) Set a timer
Try setting a time for 5 mins on you first day and then gradually increase it to 10 minutes or more if you want after.
3) Find a comfortable position.
Make sure you feel comfortable and not too tensed, or you will focus this more than your breathing. Your posture should be correct, with hands in your laps. Sit up with a straight, tall back, relax your shoulder and widen your chest.
4) Focus on each breath
Breathe in….and breathe out. Close your eyes and keep your attention on your breathing. Breathe in deeply and feel your chest expand as the air moves into your nose and fill up your lungs. hold for a moment. Then breathe out, notice your chest falling as the air naturally flows out your nose.
5) Don’t pay too much attention to your thoughts
It is definitely normal for your mind to wander, whether its thoughts about what you should have said to someone last week, or thoughts about what you are going to have for lunch later.
What are you feeling? What sounds are in your head? When a thought comes along, acknowledge it, notice the emotions that come with it and let it go without judgement. Bring back your attention to the centre and back to your breathing.
6) Come out of the meditation
After 5-10 minutes, slowly ease back into the present moment, and start your day relaxed with a clear mind.
What are the Benefits?
- Improves memory/concentration
- Reduces stress
- Decreases depression and anxiety
- Better sleep
- Having more energy
- Less irritable
- Lower blood pressure/heart rate
There are so many more benefits to mindfulness meditation as the main benefit is that it reduces stress. Stress is a major killer in the world, from pressures at work/school to other duties and responsibilities in life. Stress brings about all kinds of illnesses if not controlled.
Taking out at least 10 minutes of your busy day for this meditation can help a lot and is so worth it- for your health…your body…your mind…and even for the people around you. You will also notice a feeling of connection with everyone and the universe and presented with a new perspective of life.
“A quiet mind is more important than a positive mind” ~ Deepak Chopra
Key things to remember:
- When sitting in a comfortable position, you should be relaxed, not tensed up or stiff
- Make mindfulness meditation a habit. Like exercise trains the body, meditation trains the mind. Commitment is required and the more you practice it, the stronger your mind will become.
- Don’t force yourself NOT to think at all during the meditation. As you are starting out it would be difficult to completely block everything popping up in and out your head. Gradually over time these thoughts will become less and less. It just takes some time and practice. This mindfulness meditation will still have a positive effect of you even if thoughts keep coming…it’s just how you react to them which will impact the meditation. So when they come, let them go without a feeling in the world.
- Keep focusing on the rise and fall of the chest when you are breathing, so you have something to put your attention as it is hard to keep your mind completely blank.
Anyone can and should do this meditation. It will help children focus at school… teenagers to get rid of their moodiness… young adults to deal with depression and anxiety and fully grown grown adults to deal with all the stresses life knocks at their door with. Along with aiding elder people with their health problems. So overall, it teaches people to relax and take life with a ‘pinch of salt’ because you are connected to so much more them youself.
This was just about mindfulness meditation, you can practice mindfulness anytime, anywhere…
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz”