Meditation is something that I try to practice every day. It really is something I have to schedule into my day, or I forget to do it. I find mindfulness meditation so helpful because it creates focus in our everyday lives and makes meditation really easy to achieve. What I have discovered is that mediation that includes mindfulness is particularly good at reducing my stress and anxiety symptoms. If you also suffer from depression and other negative thinking it can also be a very effective way of reducing your symptoms of negative emotion.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being engaged fully in the present moment without analysing your experience. You take your mind into thinking about what is happening right now rather than dwelling on the past or thinking about the future.
Mindful meditation techniques are very practical as they involve focussing on everyday tasks. You can be mindful anywhere which makes this form of meditation very accessible. Here are some examples:
When you focus your attention on various parts your body you create an awareness of how you are feeling right in the moment. Like a progressive muscle relaxation your start with your feet and work your way up focussing on each part of the body until you reach the top of your head. However instead of tensing and releasing each body part you focus your mind on staying in the moment and focus on how you feel.
If you are like me and reach for food when you’re under stress or writing, then this technique is for you. I have this terrible habit of speed eating my food. I find that taking the time to eat mindfully, even if it isn’t every time I have a meal helps me to focus on enjoying my food and being in the moment. Sit at a table and focus your attention on your food, this means no newspapers, TV or mobile phones). Eat slowly, give your body time to digest your food, notice the taste and texture of your food and absorb being fully in the moment.
This is an excellent meditation to try wherever you are walking whether it is at the gym or out in nature, although being outside in the fresh air connecting with the environment is preferable. If you are a busy person, this sort of meditation enables you to combine movement and meditation at the same time. in a walking meditation your need to be focussed on every step, feel your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your breath as you walk and breeze blowing across your face.
What mindfulness meditation is not
Mindfulness meditation is not zoning out. If you are like me, it takes an effort to focus your concentration in the present moment and not allow your mind to go wandering off thinking about all the things you need to get done. Keep practising; it does get easier the more you attempt to keep you mind right in the present.
We know that mindfulness meditation changes the brain by impacting brainwaves and strengthening the areas associated with positive mood and relaxation and weakening those associated with stress anxiety and depression. The best thing about mindful meditation is it gives you a focus for the period you are meditating and for some people this is much easier than trying to meditate in the traditional way.
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