What is Mindfulness?
What is Mindfulness? What’s so special about it that the world is going gaga about it?
There certainly need to be some benefits of mindfulness meditation to make it such a talked about topic!! Well, I won’t keep you waiting for the answer so long 🙂
The art and practice of deliberating your attention or thoughts on the present moment and feeling them 100 percent is Mindfulness. Indeed, the scientific community is paying close heed to the benefits it imparts in making our life less-stressed if not stress-free and ultimately improving our quality of life.
Need for Practicing Mindfulness
Who doesn’t want to be a supermom, a super dad, or a superperson nowadays? And hush, hushhhh- Well don’t we even expect our children to be super-kids?
No prizes for guessing that the key to being classified as ‘super’ is multitasking! The better you multitask, the more per-say efficient you can be- and ignored is the fact that the more you are stressed with the aim of being ‘super‘!
Having said that, in the world that we live in, is it even possible to eliminate multi-tasking or stress? Lest you salvage the hustle-bustle of the world and go to meditate in the Himalayas- the answer is ‘no’.
In this rushed lifestyle, we totally lose touch with the present moment leave apart feeling anything. This is where Mindfulness makes a very critical room in our life- to help us connect with the present moment even for a little while, and hence eliminate at least some stress.
Prayer- And it’s Power
Have you ever thought why you might feel more relaxed or charged up after spending even a few minutes in a place of worship? All religions across the world have some active or tacit element of praying. What is prayer? What do (should) we actually do while praying? Praying is all about trying to forget everything else and connecting with God. We try to concentrate while saying our prayers. What does it lead to? Getting into the present moment- that is, Mindfulness. Having said that, prayers said just as a ritual to please God- in no way qualify in either of the categories- neither pleasing the almighty nor Mindfulness! And yes, even a few minutes of saying a prayer no matter where you say it, helps us relieve stress.
Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Modern Science and Research corroborates the impact of Mindfulness Meditation on our mind and body. What makes Mindfulness beneficial is not only the huge positive changes in our psychological and physiological aspects but also the overall well being it brings about by positively impacting behavior, health, and attitude in general.
What is the Impact of Mindfulness on Physiological Health
We can’t stress enough on Stress being one of the major factors behind a number of diseases. Heart diseases, High Blood Pressure, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Gastrointestinal difficulties are just a few of them. Having said that, practicing Mindfulness in a routine helps alleviate these issues.
What is the Impact of Mindfulness on the Mind or Psychological Health
Psychotherapists emphasize on Mindfulness Meditation as an aid to treat issues like depression, eating disorders, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders), Anxiety, just to name a few.
What is the Impact of Mindfulness on the General Well-Being
A healthy body and a healthy mind directly lead to improved well-being. To enjoy every bit of our life, we need to be mindful! Let’s take the example of eating your favorite dish. Imagine you are preoccupied with work and not ‘mindful’ of the eating process, will you be able to tell if you savored the dish? In all probability- No. In fact, in all likelihood, you might not even remember what you actually ate!
Practicing mindfulness helps our mind get trained into being mindful in whatever we do. Be it eating, or traveling, or our routine work, we start performing and enjoying life better. Success and happiness, in turn, give a boost to our Self Esteem.
Mindfulness has tremendous benefits on the overall well being of an individual. With its roots deep in the ancient cultures of Hinduism and Buddhism, Mindfulness is now accredited by Modern Science as well. I can see what you are thinking, ‘I want to, but how to practice mindfulness?’ So here it goes- the best part about the practice of Mindfulness is that you can literally do it from anywhere. All you need is the willingness to do it. And yes, there are several techniques to practice Mindfulness Meditation.
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
All techniques of Mindfulness are some kind of meditation. The primary goal is to establish a sense of conscious attention to thoughts, actions, and sensations without judgment, and feel the relaxation that sets deep within.
The mindfulness meditation exercises can be done all by yourself, with music, with guided training, or by working with a like-minded community. If you have problems staying motivated, you may like to enroll in a class and work with a practitioner. It can go a long way in building up concentration too. Nevertheless, irrespective of how you plan to do it, the techniques remain the same.
Try to observe what you are doing. If you are eating a bar of chocolate, try to feel the texture, colour, look, hardness, taste, how it melts in your mouth, how the teeth feel when they bite through it, how it goes down your throat- savor each moment of it. In short, experience your environment with all the five senses totally unfolded.
Focus on Breathing
This is the best exercise to relax and eliminate negative thoughts. Just check on your breathing- and yes breathe deep. Feel the air get in through your nostrils, hit your throat, contract the diaphragm, then hit your navel. Hold it there, feel the belly rising and then empty your lungs. Feel the sensation on your nostrils as the carbon-di-oxide ejects your body. Let the thoughts just pass without worrying about them.
Body Focus Meditation
Lie down in a relaxed state- legs straight, arms on your side and palms facing up. Feel the full weight of your body on the bedding. Relax your jaws.
Start from your toes, make yourself aware of each bit of your body and feel it. In most of the cases you will feel a sensation- tingling, that part warming up, or anything else. Focus on each part moving towards your head. Each nail, each finger, each part one by one. When you reach your head, further focus on the mind- deep inside the head. Visualize yourself happy, destressed, and relaxed. This is also the time to command your mind to realize that it is happy. Rub your palms for a few seconds, place them on your eyes, feel the warmth, and enjoy the peace.
Choose a path for yourself. Ideally, close to nature and peaceful. Start walking. Feel all the sensations. Try not to bother about any intruding thoughts. It’s okay to have them and continue with your mindfulness.
Pick up any object of your choice. Maybe something you could hold, or maybe something you could just see. Immerse yourself into it fully. Watch it/feel it inside out.
The Final Word
Lastly, these were a few very simple techniques of Mindfulness that you can very easily practice all by yourself. Having said that, like everything else, practicing and benefitting from Mindfulness Meditation also calls for some kind of a routine and consistency. Possibly, you could fix up a time and set an alarm for that.
Remind yourself of the benefits of mindfulness meditation on the mind, body, and soul that are like to be derived- and hang on. There will be days when you just won’t feel like it. But, it is suggested that you don’t let your desire to quit rule and do follow the routine. Within a few days, positive changes are ought to be relished.
The power of Mindfulness, its benefits, and how it can impact our life in totality cannot be underestimated. In cultures like Hinduism and Buddhism, the practice has been long established and its powers well acknowledged. If we want it coming from modern science, well that too can’t help but boast of the influence of Mindfulness Meditation on our Mind and Body.
Even if your long term goal is Kundalini Awakening or you might be looking forward to activating your Chakras, or maybe you wish to Manifest your Dreams into Reality, Mindfulness Meditation is the first step you could possibly take to kick start this journey.
Do you already practice Mindfulness or are you planning to start this beautiful journey? Leave your experience and/or expectations in the comments section below.
Sending you healing vibes!