Meditation and mindfulness, how adopting this can improve your wellbeing.

Meditation 101

In recent years, the words ‘mindfulness’ and ‘meditation’ have become buzzwords. We hear them everywhere being used as selling points, and as such they’ve somewhat lost their meaning. It’s important that we remind ourselves of how these two important practices can be implemented to help us in our daily lives.

It’s no secret that meditating and having a regular mindfulness practice can have a huge positive impact on almost every facet of your life, be it mind, body or spirit. It reduces stress and anxiety, increases calmness and clarity, promotes happiness, increases creativity and gives us the opportunity to get to know ourselves more deeply.

There are many ways to meditate, and no one way is ‘correct’. You can use apps, various breathing techniques, guided meditations and a plethora of other things to facilitate your mindfulness practice. Be sure to experiment with all different types and techniques of meditation to find what best allows you to practice presence.

A great place to start is this basic mindfulness meditation:

  1. Take a seat. This can be cross-legged, kneeling, or sitting on a chair to support your back with your feet on the floor. Try to find a place free of distractions where you’re unlikely to be interrupted.
  2. Set a timer. There are loads of great timer apps specific to meditation, but anything that you have on hand works. Set the timer for as long as you like. It’s a myth that you have to meditate for a long time to reap its benefits – this belief deters many people from starting a practice as many of us don’t have the time or patience for an hour of meditation per day. Even starting out with a 2 minute practice is enough. Do however much you are willing and able to. Make it easy for yourself to do, everyday.
  3. Find your gaze. Either focus your eyes softly on a point in front of you or close them altogether.
  4. Notice. Begin by noticing your breath. Pay attention to the feeling of cool air coming in through your nose and warm air flowing out. Bring your attention to your body. Notice the temperature, your clothing on your skin and how it feels to reside in it. Notice any physical sensation that is present for you.
  5. Pay attention to your thoughts. Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t about eliminating thoughts from your mind. Attempting to do so can be incredibly frustrating and causes many to drop the practice. When you notice your mind wandering, observe it without judgement and gently bring yourself back into your body and into the present using your breath.
  6. Bring it to a gentle close. Notice how you feel and what may have changed in your body and mind.

A vital part of a mindfulness practice is consistency. If you are consistent, your practice will be most fruitful. In being dedicated to mindfulness and meditation you learn to be present in all sorts of situations, including stressful ones. You will find a greater sense of peace in daily life and your mind, body and spirit will be nourished.

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