Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that’s rooted in the Buddhist tradition. It involves sitting in a quiet space and paying close attention to the present moment without judgment.
Mindfulness meditation helps us to cultivate awareness, compassion and acceptance, both for others and ourselves. Mindfulness does not end when we stop meditating; in fact, the purpose is for mindfulness to extend to all areas of our lives. With mindfulness we are more able to be fully engaged in life and enjoy the moment, and when we do experience stress, we are more able to thoughtfully respond rather than react.
How to Meditate
Mindfulness mediation is simple to do and it’s free! Start by finding a quiet space where you won’t be distracted and, at least initially, set an amount of time for which you will meditate. Assume a comfortable sitting position; however, be sure to modify your position as needed.
Next, pay attention to the natural flow of your breath – such as the air flowing in and out of your nostrils. Inevitably, your mind will wander off, and this might happen a lot, especially if you are new to meditation – and this is normal. When this happens, don’t judge yourself and simply bring your awareness back to your breath.
You can also expand your focus to include paying attention to sensations, sounds, or whatever else might be happening around you. Again, when your mind wanders, gently return your focus to your breath and begin again. The idea is not to stop yourself from thinking, but rather to be mindful of what it is you’re thinking about.
Mindfulness Meditation Benefits Your Health
Practicing mindfulness mediation has many benefits. Even a few minutes a day can make a big difference. Research is being conducted in hospitals and clinical settings all over the world, and some of the possible benefits may include:
- Reduced stress
- Increased energy
- Improved memory
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Improved sleep
- Improved immune functioning
- Improved digestion
- Less irritability
- Improved relationships
- More joy and happiness
With all of these potential benefits, why not have a sit starting today!