Mindfulness and Meditation
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.
Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.
What is meditation?
Meditation is exploring. It’s not a fixed destination. Your head doesn’t become vacuumed free of thought, utterly undistracted. It’s a special place where each and every moment is momentous. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: our sensations, our emotions and thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.
Imagine being able to change your life through the power of your mind. Can you believe that you are able to control your life simply by the habits you create, the thoughts you think and the words you speak?
You are what you think you are. Because how you think determines how you act. And how you act determines how others react to you. It is a common misconception that we know our own minds. Your subconscious mind does a lot of the heavy lifting, and understanding how the subconscious mind works will uncover reasons why you do the things you do and make the decisions and choices you make. The journey of discovery from within has the ability to heal the original wound that could have been created from our childhood, a bad relationship, or a traumatic experience.
The fact is, you truly can transform your life. You really do have the power within to create the exact life you desire.
With regular practice of mindfulness exercises, rather than being led on auto-pilot by emotions influenced by negative past experiences and fears of future occurrences, we harness the ability to root the mind in the present moment and deal with life’s challenges in a clear-minded, calm, assertive way.
Guided meditation can be useful for people with no experience meditating by helping them train their focus and concentrate on breathing, emotions, and sensations. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are beginning guided meditation:
Be mindful of your posture: Your posture can influence the effectiveness and quality of your meditation. If you are asked to sit during a guided meditation session, try not to slouch. Sit upright with your head up.
Focus on your breathing: Maintaining focus is often one of the most difficult aspects of meditation for the beginner. If you have trouble focusing your attention during a guided meditation session, focus on your breathing and pay attention to each inhale and exhale. If you still have difficulty focusing, it may help to count each individual breath.
Do not force meditation: Many beginners try to meditate for a specific amount of time, or they neglect emotions, sensations, and thoughts and try to force themselves into a meditative state. Guided meditation can help ease a person into deep relaxation and focus on the important parts of the meditation session, without requiring the person to be mindful of the time.
Make meditation part of your routine: Meditation takes practice, so try to make it part of your daily routine if possible. It will become easier and more beneficial with time and repetition.
Find your space: Try to pick a specific room or space to practice meditation. Look for a place that calms you, preferably free from daily stressors.
Start with a warm-up exercise or stretches: Stretching can help improve your circulation and prep your mind for meditation. A few stretches or a brief warm-up exercise can also help relieve tension, which may allow you to achieve deep relaxation quicker.
"The mind is everything.
What you think you become." ~ Buddha
Guided meditations help you to achieve a state of deep inner stillness, so that your mind can be cleared of clutter and unwanted thoughts, and then filled with vivid visualization experiences that effect positive personal changes.