Mindfulness is a form of mind meditation where you focus on being aware of what you’re feeling and sensing the present moment without interpreting it or judging it. As a part of mindfulness practice, breathing techniques, guided imagery, and other methods can be used to relax the body and mind as well as reduce stress. On the occasion of Mindfulness Day, we will throw a light on the significance of this mental exercise and will walk you through its process.
Taking too much time to plan, solve problems, daydream, or think negatively can be draining. In addition, it can increase your risk of experiencing depression, stress, and anxiety. By focusing on your breath and engaging with your surroundings, you can become less likely to fall into this type of thinking. Let’s learn further.
What are the Benefits of Mind Meditation?
Clinical trials have explored the benefits of meditation. A wide range of conditions can be treated with meditation, including:
- Excessive stress
- Physical pain for no reason
Asthma and fibromyalgia sufferers may also benefit from meditation.
With meditation, you can gain a greater sense of balance and acceptance of your thoughts and emotions. Studies have also shown that meditation helps:
- Improve attention and focus
- Reduce burnout
- Improve quality of sleep
- Control diabetes
How can Mindfulness Activities be Practised?
There are multiple ways to practise mindfulness activities. On Mindfulness Day, learn and make others aware about different ways of practising these activities. Some of the examples include:
- Try and focus on yourself and observe the environment around you with all your senses. Take the time to explore your senses and enjoy what you are doing.
- Try to live in the present. Do not think about what has happened and what will happen.
- Accept yourself and pamper yourself. Reward yourself when you perform well. Practise this mindfulness at work too.
- Do breathing exercises. Whenever you encounter negative thoughts such as fear, anxiety, or self-doubt, just close your eyes and observe your breathing. Doing this for even a minute will help you relax.
What is the Ideal Place to Practise Mindfulness?
At the very beginning, you need to decide on the time limit for which you are going to practise meditation. This will eliminate the constant stress to think about when to stop. If it is the first time, go for a shorter time span like 5 to 10 minutes and gradually proceed to a higher time like 45 minutes or an hour. If you have the time, you can do the sessions twice a day and if not, even once is enough to improve your condition.
You need to find a quiet ambience or location at your home, ideally free from external noises and disturbances. You either sit under natural light or use mellow lights at home. You can even sit outside but ensure that it is quiet in nature.
What are the Steps to Mindfulness Through Meditation?
- Find a stable and sturdy spot to sit. The best is to get a meditation pillow but you can also find a chair for starters.
- Ensure that your legs are in a comfortable and relaxed position. On the floor, ensure that you sit cross-legged and if on the chair, ensure that your feet touch the floor.
- Ensure that your spine is straight but that does not mean you have to sit in a stiff position; just follow the natural curve of the spine and allow your head and shoulders to relax with this support.
- Place your hands at the top of your legs. Ensure that you don’t form a hunch while sitting and don’t move far back. You are working on the flexibility of your body as well, not too tight, not too loose.
- In the beginning, it is better to close your eyes and eventually you can also practise meditation with your eyes open.
- Relax your body completely and focus on the sensations of your body.
- Focus on your breathing as if you are following it. Breathe in and breathe out with deep breaths.
- It is natural for your brain to wander to other thoughts and places. Don’t break your focus; let the thoughts flow and eventually eliminate them and focus your attention back on breathing.
- If your position gets uncomfortable, ensure that you learn to pause. In case you feel sensations such as scratching, pause again.
- After the session, rub your hands gently and slowly open your eyes. Take a moment to observe your surroundings, listen to sounds, and notice how your body feels at this moment. Now, think about how you would want to plan out the rest of your day.
Initially, it will be very difficult to focus but practising continuously will make it better. You will start feeling refreshed and more energetic after every session. You will also be able to focus better. Meditation makes you more aware of your surroundings and your very own emotions. You can gradually combine these exercises with further kriyas and yoga to have a greater impact. It will drastically change your thinking and make you more optimistic.
If you are unable to practise meditation activities on your own, you can also engage experts and join centres that will help you through the process. Virtual trainers are also available that combine meditation with certain chants and peaceful music that help you relax better. Let this Mindfulness Day be an excuse to be one with your inner self.