The Basics of Mindfulness and Meditation

I do a lot of research on Mindfulness and Meditation, primarily because I have dealt with Depression and Anxiety before and Mindfulness and Meditation were suggested to me while I was in therapy, but also because you can get truly amazing results from practicing it.

When I first started to meditate, it felt strange, I didn’t really know if I was doing it right, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, how can this benefit me? Being the busy bee that I was, trapped into the worry cycle about everything, I couldn’t understand how taking a moment to breathe would help me.

But after a few tries, I was hooked! I became more involved in the process of calming my mind to control my anxiety and started feeling the benefits of it almost instantly.

What mindfulness does is create some space in your head so you can, “respond” rather than simply “react.” It creates a sense of calm and it’s exactly what I need to stay in tune with myself.

Now, I enjoy the moment of calmness and clarity, I practice it every day and can honestly say that learning this technique has changed my life.

It’s incredible!

I’m still learning more about the topic but I would like to share with you some of the basics of  Mindfulness and Meditation. I’m sharing my findings in hopes that you too will benefit from a calmer mind, reduce stress from the daily routine and live with greater ease.

 

The Basics of Mindfulness

 

What is Mindfulness?

 Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment while acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment.

Mindfulness is a way of meeting our experience with the presence of mind to respond skillfully to life’s challenges, rather than reacting based on intense emotions.
Mindfulness is simple, but not easy. It is a skill that we need to practice.  When we practice it, mindfulness allows us to live with a greater sense of calm, balance, and ease.

Source: Brilliant Mindfulness

How to practice Mindfulness Meditation?

 

The practice of Mindfulness is about observing, noticing what is happening inside your mind and in your body, becoming aware of what’s happening around you.
The most basic way to do mindfulness meditation is simply to focus on your own breathing, the inhale and exhale.
Start by noticing your breathing. Allow thoughts and sensations to just come and go, without judgement. Don’t give these thoughts or feelings any meaning, just let them go.
You can start with only a couple of min per day, some call it a mini meditation.
Increase the amount of time as you become more comfortable with meditating. Don’t feel like you have to sit there and meditate for a full hour. Start small, build it over time.

Here an example described by Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC, of how you too can start practicing mindful meditation. She says:

I like to sit straight up on the park bench with both feet firmly touching the ground and my hands resting on my thighs. This open up your airways and helps you to feel solid, but still comfortable.
Then I find a single spot on the lake to focus my eyes and begin to breathe deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth, paying close attention to the breath as it fills and empties my lungs and stomach. Any random thoughts that pop up are briefly accepted and then immediately tossed aside.
Next, I ask myself, “What am I feeling right now?” Whatever the emotion rises to the surface (which is usually something like anger, guilt, anxiety, frustration, or annoyance), I acknowledge it by saying, “It’s ok to feel this way now, everyone feels this way. I don’t have to figure it out. I can accept that it is there.”
Gathering up all of this fully received emotion, I imagine it is a pebble, rock, or even boulder and picture throwing the stone into the lake. In my mind eye I watch the ripples created by the impact spread across the water, and then absorb into the lake and disappear. I usually repeat this exercise until the emotion I’m feeling is instead relief, joy, happiness, peace, or satisfaction.
To wrap up the little ritual I refocus my breath, say good-bye to the lake, and walk away.

This simple yet powerful practice creates a sense of calmness and clarity.

Guided Meditation

 

Another amazing way to start meditating, if you have never done it, is by listening to a guided meditation.
I particularly enjoy this type of meditation. I like having the guidance, it helps me relax even more as I follow the narrator’s instructions. I find it very powerful.
Guided meditation is when you are guided, by a narrator, to elicit a specific change in your life.
You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.
There are many studies that show that practicing something in your mind is almost as good as practicing it in real life.
The beauty of a guided meditation is that you can bring about change in your body by using your mind, and that means activating muscles, changing your biological state, and even changing the way the cells in your body work.

Source: Guided Mind

How does Guided Meditation Work?

Meditation is the simple way to reframe stress, bringing you calm and balance to your life.

With guided meditation, you don’t need to know how to meditate.
All that’s required is that you listen, and you’ll move effortlessly into the renewing waters of your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind has control over the 37.2 trillion cells of your body, and also regulates and connects all 12 systems that keep you alive and functional, including the cardiovascular (heart), endocrine gland, respiratory, nervous, immune, circulatory, digestive, lymphatic (detoxing), musculoskeletal, reproductive and urinary systems.
That is truly impressive and should never be taken for granted.
Read more here.

 

Benefits of Mindful Meditation

 

Among many benefits, here is a small list of a few of the benefits you will find after a mindful meditation session.
It quiets the voices in your head, makes you appreciate the present more, decreases your anxiety over the past and future, and makes you a better person. It helps you focus on the things that matter the most to you improving your overall wellbeing.
  • Alleviates anxiety, depression, and negative attitudes
  • Reduces fatigue and exhaustion
  • Puts you in touch with your confidence, joy, enthusiasm, and self- worth
  • Improves brain function and actually lights up your mind
  • Brings you back to being heart centered and lovable
These are just a few of the many powerful benefits of a 15 to 20 minutes of daily practice.
Guided Meditation and deep relaxation will help you to train your brain to slow down, enjoy life, and accept yourself.
So take back your power and get control over yourself and your life!
It is the most important investment you can make in yourself.

Read more here.

 

Are you ready to give it a try?

 

Here are my recommended videos for Guided Meditation you can try right now!

Sit comfortably with your feet on the ground and be open to an amazing experience that will leave you feeling calmer and ready to conquer the rest of the day!

Happy meditating!
Take care,
Giselle