There are more and more articles about mindfulness, but many are not sure exactly what all the fuss is all about. We rarely are in the moment, which is what mindfulness teaches us to practice.
What exactly is Mindfulness? In its simplest terms it is being aware and in the moment by focusing on the things that are normally ignored. This means focusing on breathing, feeling your body’s sensations including the smallest things such as the feeling of your feet on the floor or the relaxing of muscles. There is no right or wrong way but being consistent seems to be the key. I personally like the guided meditations the best because they tell you what to do and you just follow along. This makes it easier to get used to a routine so that it’s easier to transition to other types of meditations later.
Many studies have shown the benefits of mindfulness that are really amazing. According to a Harvard study, Mindfulness can change your brain and improve your health. The study states that 80% of doctor visits are stress-related health issues. Meditation and yoga have both been shown to reduce stress levels. Ten to fifteen minutes each day is all that it takes to see results. Large businesses have embraced mindfulness for their employees to improve creativity, focus and well being. Meditation has also been shown to be as effective as an antidepressant and to reduce chronic pain. Since there are so many physical benefits that everyone should make this a daily routine.
Simple Body Scan meditation
1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lay down
2. You can either keep your eyes open (you could focus on a single point such as a lit candle) or closed
3. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for a count of 2 and exhale for a count of 6 through your mouth
4. Repeat 6 times
5. Resume regular breathing
6. Focus on your muscles starting at your toes and moving up through your body. Picture each area and feel it get heavy and sink into the chair or bed
7.Continue through the body all the way to your head, noticing any area that is stressed
8.. Stretch your arms and legs when finished, take a deep breath slowly and get up
9. That’s it!
Youtube has many guided meditation videos to check out and see which ones are a good fit. Tara Brach is a popular meditation teacher and has podcasts plus lots of information that you learn from on her website, so check it out!
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