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Mindful meditation is a fantastic way to decrease stress and increase focus. Learning to do this might take some time, but the benefits are many. In this article, we talk about how to do mindfulness meditation and how it benefits you.
What is Mindfulness?
Just like the name suggests, your mind is full of good thoughts when you practise mindfulness meditation. You may wonder how being mindful will be helpful. Instead of having a mind filled with unwanted thoughts, you could decide to think about subjects that make you feel good. Negative thoughts will have no space to increase when you are concentrating on a specific topic. Just like that, you can take a break from anxiety. Most of the time, people go over their fears and problems which will consume every waking moment. When you practice mindfulness, your anxiety stops building up and finally experience a sense of calm.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice which involves focussing your mind on an experience such as your emotions, sensations, and thoughts, in the present moment. It can simply be defined as the act of paying attention to every feeling you are experiencing as you experience it. You will be able to give your mind enough to concentrate when you choose to turn your attention away from the everyday chatter of your mind so that it can quiet down. This meditation involves mental imagery, breathing practice, awareness of mind and body, and body and muscle relaxation.
What are the Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation?
There are so many benefits to this amazing practice.
1. Get Better Sleep
If you have ever suffered the mental and physical effects of a poor night’s sleep, you will appreciate this important benefit from mindfulness meditation.
2. Progress Towards Your Weight-Loss Goals
This mediation has been seen as a great strategy to support weight-loss goals if you have been continuously struggling with fluctuations in weight.
3. Lower Stress Levels
Everyday stress is common in this fast-paced society of ours. Learning how to minimise the effect of stress on mind and body is essential in overall well-being.
4. Decreases Loneliness in Seniors
Relationships can be personally enriching though getting older is challenging. Mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults.
5. Banish Temporary Negative Feelings
Sitting at a desk all day is terrible for your health. When you do mindfulness meditation, there is a less momentary adverse effect.
6. Improve Attention
Brief meditation can enhance the ability to sustain attention. Other improvements are an increase in memory, executive functioning, and increased mindfulness.
7. Manage Chronic Pain
Mindfulness meditation and yoga can result in significant improvements in anxiety, pain, well-being, and ability to participate in normal life activities.
8. Help Prevent Depression Relapse
A particular mind-body strength technique is how it shows people how to disengage from the highly dysfunctional and deep thoughts that accompany depression.
9. Reduce Anxiety
Mediation may help to reduce the cardiovascular risk in people with moderate anxiety.
10. Increase Brain Grey Matter
Another surprising benefit is that it can increase grey matter in the brain. This part is involved in the regulation of emotion, memory and learning processes.
How to Do Mindfulness Meditation?
1. Take Your Seat
Wherever you decide to sit, a chair, a park bench or a meditation cushion, find a spot that gives you a reliable, stable, hanging back, and not perching.
2. Notice Your Legs
If you decide to sit on a cushion, on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. If you already have yoga posture in mind, then go ahead. If you decide to sit on a chair, then it is best of your feet to touch the ground.
3. Straighten Your Upper Body
You do not have to stiffen your upper body because the spine naturally has a curvature. Your shoulders and head can comfortably rest on top of the vertebrae.
4. Your Upper Arms and Upper Body
Keep your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Place your hands on top of your legs. When too forward, it will make you hunch, and too back will make you stiff.
5. Drop Your Chin
You can drop your chin a little forward and let your gaze gently downward. You can also let your eyelids lower a little or completely. Just look at anything in front of your eyes without letting your eyes focus on it.
6. Be There
Be there for a few minutes. Just relax and bring your attention to the senses in your body or to your breath.
7. Feel Your Breath
Feel your breath or simply follow it as it goes in and comes out. Bring your attention towards the physical sensation of the breath. Every time you breathe, mentally note that you are “breathing in” and “breathing out”.
8. Wander to Places
Your attention will eventually leave your breath and wander to other places. There is no need to block this flow of thoughts. When you feel like you have been wandering for a while, slowly return to the attention of your breath.
9. Practice Pausing
Try to pause before you plan on making any physical adjustments. Shift at a moment you choose, with intention, allowing space between what you choose to do it and what you experience.
10. Constantly Finding Your Mind Wandering
You might find your mind constantly wandering, which is normal too. Try to observe those thoughts without wrestling or engaging with it as much as possible. Just sit and pay attention to it. You will soon realise that as hard as it to maintain, that is all there is. Without judgment or expectation, come back over and over again.
11. Lifting Your Gaze
When you are ready, gently lift your gaze. Take a moment to notice all the different sounds around you. Notice the way your body feels, your thoughts and your emotions. Pause and then decide how you would like the rest of the day to be.
Other Ways to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Daily life provides plenty of opportunities to practice this.
1. Doing Dishes
You might have noticed how no one will try to get your attention when doing dishes. This combination of physical activity and alone time makes cleaning up a great time to try it. Look at the bubbles; savour the feeling of the water and the sounds of the pan. Give yourself over to the experience.
2. Brushing Your Teeth
You cannot start a day without brushing your teeth. So, make this another opportunity to practice this. Feel the brush in your hand, your feet on the floor, and the movement of your arms.
It is really easy to zone out when you are driving. Use this to keep your attention inside the car. Turn the radio off or switch to channels that have soothing music and imagine your spine growing tall. Do not grip the wheel too tightly, either.
Turn off all screens and focus on your breath when you exercise.
Do not try to rush your kids to bed, simply enjoy that experience. Get down to the same level as your kids are, look into their eyes, and listen to them. Savour any snuggles too. They will relax when you relax.
6. Eating Mindfully
You might even lose a little weight when you eat mindfully. Really enjoy the food you eat. Observe the texture and feel your food. Notice the taste and how enjoyable it is to chew.
Here are the answers to some questions you might have.
1. For How Long Should I Do Mindful Meditation?
The length of time you spend on mindfulness meditation will vary from person to person. Some people are comfortable meditating for 20 minutes while others might want to do it for an hour. It is according to your comfort. If you are new, then you can start with 10 minute-long sessions and gradually increase the time.
2. What is The Perfect Time to Do Mindfulness Meditation?
The best time to do this meditation is in the morning because it is a refreshing way to start your day. You could always decide to do it later during the day.
Practice being mindful daily. It is often thought to be very simple, but it is not that easy. The work is to keep going and eventually you will be able to focus well and reduce stress.