A Beginner’s Guide To Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a meditation technique that helps you relax after a long day and focus. The goal of mindfulness is to be aware of every action, word, and thought. When we do things in a mindful way, we have heightened awareness, physical relaxation, and peacefulness. Research shows that it can be a good treatment for depression. One study noted that the psychological and cognitive benefits of mindfulness are a result of a change in the structure of the brain.
As a result of the brain’s plasticity and the mindfulness practice, it is possible to change our brains and purposely improve our well-being. Unlike the mantra meditation that requires focusing on a particular sound or word, the goal of mindfulness is to achieve that relaxed and non-judgmental awareness of your feelings, sensations, and thoughts.
If you are practicing mindfulness as a beginner, here is a guide to mindfulness.
SEE ALSO: Can’t Meditate? Let’s Debunk Meditation!
Choose a quiet spot
When practicing mindfulness as a beginner you will need to search for a quiet spot to start. This may be a room in your home or even a bench in a park. The place doesn’t matter much; the key thing is to find a place where you can spend a couple of minutes without disturbances.
Find comfortable pose
Choose a position that you will be comfortable with as you practice mindfulness. This could be a lying or sitting position. If you are one of these people who fall asleep easily when meditating, consider a sitting position. Unbutton your pants and loosen the belt. This will ensure that you can concentrate fully when breathing. If sitting on a cushion, cross the legs. If you are sitting on a chair, allow the feet to rest firmly on the floor. Straighten the upper body without stiffening it. Remember that the spine has a natural curvature. Allow it to maintain that shape.
Clarify what you want
You can use a couple of sentences or words to describe your goal when starting. As a beginner, you can have the mindfulness practice as your key intention. Other objectives that you can consider may include reducing stress, becoming more aware of your feelings, and etc.
Find time and trigger
This doesn’t have to be the exact time every day. Choose the general ones such as morning hours or lunch. The trigger should be something that you are doing such as showering, eating lunch, brushing your teeth, and other things that are part of your daily routine. You can then bring awareness to the event. For instance, when showering, you can start to think of how the soap feels against your skin, its smell, and shape.
The goal here is to use your senses to become more aware of the moment. It is also possible to use your body in a similar manner. For example, you can focus on how the floor feels against your feet or how your hands and feet feel when moving. When your mind begins to wander, take note of that and bring it into submission without judging yourself harshly. You can practice this for a few minutes in a day. The most important thing is to ensure that you are completely absorbed into the current activity or sensation.
Focus on your breath
Ensure that you focus on the physical sensation that breathing brings. Focus on the air that is moving into your mouth and nose and the rising and falling of your chest or belly.
Observe current moment
The goal of mindfulness meditation is not to quiet your mind or make it achieve a lasting state of calm. It is to pay attention to the current moment. Do not allow judgments to arise for other thoughts that crop up. When you notice them, note them mentally and allow them to pass before concentrating on the current moment. Remember that there are many moments when your mind will be carried away by thoughts. The goal is to keep returning them over and over again until mindfulness becomes part of our lifestyle.
Be kind to your thoughts
There are many instances when your mind will wander. This should not worry you as it is normal. Rather than wrestling with the thoughts, you need to observe them without any reaction. All you will need to do is to sit while paying attention. While this may be hard to maintain, this is all you need. Get back to your breath without any expectations or judgment. No matter the activity you engage in and whether you enjoy it or not, when you practice mindfulness, there will be no room for rumination.
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