26 Dec Live in the Present with Mindfulness Meditation
With how busy the modern world has become we tend to juggle 1001 things in our minds all at once. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of swirling thoughts – thinking about how to make ends meet, laundry, school, starting a business; family etc. We worry about the past and the future forgetting to live in the present. By trying to rush through life, we lose our connection with the present, how we are feeling and what is happening around us. When last did you just enjoy nature blooming around you? Or did you make sure you were truly fine this morning when you woke up or did you just jump down from your bed and start with your daily routine? This maybe the time for you to reconnect through mindfulness meditation.
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What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the meditation practice of actually being in the present moment. It is defined as a mental state wherein you are fully focused on “the now” so you can acknowledge and accept your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. This mental practice helps train your mind to focus less of the negative thoughts that cause high levels of stress. It teaches you how to calm both your body and mind and be more aware of yourself when carrying out your daily activities.
Three reasons why you should try mindfulness
This practice finds its origins in Buddhism but has meandered its way into mainstream medicine as it has been scientifically proven to have positive effects on human behaviour, attitude and wellbeing. Here is why you should give it a try:
- Improve your mental health– Mindfulness is used by many therapists to treat mental problems such as depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders. It helps support the creation of healthy habits and routines.
- Improve your well-being- This practice helps to worry less about the things we have no control over in life. It helps build new attitudes that make life more satisfying. Being mindful lets you pay more attention to what you are doing in the present, appreciate the pleasures life has to offer and even increases your capacity in handle difficult situations. By learning how to be less judgmental with yourself you will be able to overcome issues of self-confidence and self-esteem and live a happier life.
- Improve your physical health- Research has proven that practicing mindfulness helps improve several health conditions like: stress, high blood pressure, chronic pains, sleep disorders and even helps treat heart conditions.
This simple meditation practice helps people to be more accepting and open to their experiences (pain, trauma etc) rather than avoid them. It is a straight forward practice to gain perspective on irrational, maladaptive, and self-defeating thoughts that plague the mind. Reasons why it is used by many psychotherapists. It’s great for beginners as it requires very little preparation and can be done at any moment of the day even while carrying out other activities. If you are looking out to start here’s a short guide.
A short guide to get started with meditation
For beginners here are some key tips to observe when starting out with mindfulness:
- Select the most suitable time when you will not be disturbed. It could be as soon as you wake or before going to bed; whatever works for you.
- Get comfortable – Find a quiet space. You could sit on a chair, a meditation pillow or on the floor. Relax your head and neck. Straighten you back following its natural curvature. Let your hands drop naturally, drop your chin and close your eyes. Just sit in that position and let yourself relax.
- Focus on your breadth. Become more and more aware of the air getting in your lungs, getting into your nostrils. Breathe in and out.
- Let go. As you focus on your breadth your mind will start wandering. Do not try not to think (that’s impossible by the way) let your thoughts flow, listen to them, engage with them and make note of what your mind is telling you. With no judgment just sit and listen to your mind and that’s it.
- When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Take a few moments to observe how you feel. Notice your thoughts and emotions and set your intentions for the day.
In a nutshell that is mindfulness. It is simple but will not be easy from the first try. With more practice you will get better at it. The benefits of this practice will improve the quality of your life but to notice results you need to be clear about why you are meditating. Once you have in mind what motivates you or the goal you are trying to attain, you will be able to stay committed to your practice and will start noticing the positive impact on your daily life. Do not worry if you feel sleepy, restless, if you doubt yourself or get scared. These are normal challenges to meditation. Regular practice is all it takes. You could go gradually form 5 to 10, 15 then 30 minutes meditation sessions.
Meditation Apps For Beginners
My Meditation Practice
It’s taken me a while to finally get a sort of routine with my meditation practice. For the longest time I used to read about the benefits of meditation and start meditating but I always fell off the wagon. Here are some reasons why:
- Extremely complicated meditations: I’ll discover a guru who talks about a meditation practice and I’ll try it. But I always forgot that I was a beginner and I had to ease into it. Starting off by spending quiet time with your eyes closed just to get comfortable with being still is a good way to go.
- Extremely long meditations: I once followed a guru who recommended a 45-minute meditation, three times a day and I tried it! Needless to say I failed woefully and started resenting the whole thing! How about you try 5 minutes, 10 and move on progressively? Right now the meditation I do and love is just 13 minutes long, perfect!
- Going silent: If you don’t know what to do during a meditation why not try out a GUIDED MEDITATION? To have a voice telling you how to relax, breathe and what to visualize makes everything a whole lot easier.
With that said, the meditation practice I swear by is none other than The Silva Mind Method.
It’s pretty good and has helped me to finally get into a meditation routine.