Still Trying To Learn How To Be Mindful?
Mindfulness is an excellent way to greatly improve your concentration, awareness, and happiness.
Often, mindfulness is used to describe a type of meditation. ‘Mindfulness meditation involves reflecting on the contents of your mind and how they might be affecting you.
The point of mindfulness is to simply detach yourself from your thoughts and become an observer. This way, you can prevent them from affecting you and you can also gain a greater understanding of your thoughts. Many describe it as ‘watching the thoughts go past like clouds’. The idea is not to engage with them or let them affect you, but simply to observe them, and to later reflect on how they might impact on your happiness.
From time to time during my day, I use mindfulness meditation to take a break from all the chatter and noise of my daily life. At the same time, I use it as a simple way to become more in-tune with my thoughts and feelings. And as mentioned in a previous post, my doctor recommended Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), to help me find and flush flaws in my thinking.
All this must seem a little daunting. But have no fear, stick with me. I know, for some, the prospect of mindfulness may sound off-putting, as meditation is very often thought to be linked with Buddhism or with some form of religion — mindful meditation is not.
So, now that you’re reassured, let’s look at how to start your first mindfulness session with the best chances of success.
Step 1. Breathe
The first step is simply to breathe. Breathing deeply in, and, out through the nose will help you to reduce stress levels by circulating more oxygen around your body and sending signals to your brain that you are in the ‘rest and digest state’. Cortisol decreases and brain activity slows. Think of cortisol as nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear. (Source: www.webmd.com.)
Step 2. Concentrate on Your Senses
The next thing to do is to concentrate on your senses. Start bringing your attention inward, so just listen out for any sounds that you normally miss, notice your temperature, and think about the smells that surround you in the room. Don’t ‘look’ for sounds or smells just let them come to you. You’ll likely find there is much more in your soundscape than you initially realized.
Step 3. Use Body Scan Meditation
The next step is to turn your awareness in even more and use something called ‘body scan’ meditation. This means that you’re now concentrating on your own body and in particular, how it feels. Start from the top of your head and face and notice the muscles that are contracted. Move down through your entire body, your fingers, wrist, arms, elbows, neck, shoulders, arms chest, stomach, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, and all the way to the soles of your feet and your toes.
Return your attention to your chest feel how it rises and falls as you breathe. Now, count each breath, four or five times, to allow your thoughts to become still.
Step 4. Let Your Mind Do What it Wants
Finally, you’re going to allow your mind to do whatever it wants. That means allowing it to wander, allowing it to sit still: whatever. There is no right or wrong. The point is that you are going to remain detached from the flow of thoughts, and while you might notice them, you’re not going to get ‘caught up’ in them. When you notice yourself getting lost, simply bring yourself calmly back to your breathing.
Don’t apply any pressure on yourself during this process.
Don’t expect immediate results and don’t worry if you have an itch that needs your attention, right now. Go right ahead, satisfy that itch! Then come back to your breath, in… out… in…out.
The whole point is to just allow yourself a gentle break and the more you push for results, the less likely they are to come.
With practice, you can learn to be more in-tune with your own thoughts and that can change everything.
“Take a deep breath, relax and imagine yourself exactly as you wish to be.” — Brian Tracy
This article was originally published on my site at https://donnapresents.com/still-trying-to-get-into-mindfulness/
Meditation is a habit that may come easily to some. I have been meditating for over five years, but there were many days I found myself slipping. These days, not so much, not since I completed the no-cost Action Habits Challenge by Connie Ragen Green, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur. You can check it out here.
If you’re interested in revitalizing your life through meditation and would like to learn a virtually risk-free, and cost-effective practice, that people of all ages can do with a little patience and guidance and that will serve you for the rest of your life, I would love to connect with you. You can connect with me here.
I’m Donna SLam, who loves to blog about how meditation brings self-compassion, peace of mind, and clarity to my life and others by sharing tips and strategies on how to live a fulling and purposeful life. I enjoy championing others to lead a healthy and happy life through meditation, walking, self-development, and spending time with loved ones.