Improve Your Mental Health With Mindfulness Meditation
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is simply a kind of mindfulness meditation where you focus intensely on what you are feeling and sensing in the present moment, with no judgment or interpretation.
Mindfulness involves deep breathing techniques, guided imagery, and various other meditative practices to calm the mind and relax the body.
Being present in the midst of your surroundings, day to day life, can be a challenge. However, by paying attention and being fully present, you can learn to more easily navigate these tough situations and make time for enjoyable, meaningful, and productive interactions with others.
When we are mindfulness about something, we are really attending to that thing or experience wholeheartedly, even experiencing it at its most powerful level.
For example, if you are driving, you can be mindfulness about the road, about the car ahead, about the traffic jam, about the rising and falling temperatures, etc.
By being present in these mindful moments, you can observe the sensations without being attached to them, and then let go of your attachment to them. If you are walking, you can be mindful about the sensation of your footstep, or about the feelings of the air on your skin.
Being mindfulness about these sensations allows you to move with your body in a natural, unhurried way, and eventually to let go of the sensation altogether.
Mindfulness also includes being present in the present moment with one\’s breath, which is often forgotten or ignored in our fast-paced, highly stressful lives.
By becoming mindful about your breath, you can notice how certain kinds of breathing affect your sensations, such as how your breath feels as you brush your teeth or as you write down your phone number.
You can also become mindful about your breath when you are thinking about starting a new task, or about something that you need to do.
As you watch your breath, you may start to notice patterns or unusual ways that your mind associates with certain types of feelings or events, such as worries or happy thoughts.
Focusing your attention away from these kinds of experiences can be challenging at first, especially if you don\’t particularly like to meditate or if it seems to take effort to keep your attention elsewhere.
One way that I have found to help me focus my mind away from distractions is to set aside time each day to do some meditation.
In addition to providing me with a nice quiet spot in which to do my meditation, setting aside time to meditate has afforded me some peace and serenity that comes with practicing mindfulness practices.
Without meditating, my mind has been constantly distracted by the many things that pull it away from the things that it should be focusing on, so this daily set-aside time gives me some space from distractions and helps me to focus my attention where I need to.
While sitting, in a comfortable chair, observing my breathing, I found that I was more intensely mindful of my hands and the sensations in them as I held them.
When I left the chair, I found that I could not focus anymore on the sensations, but I was aware of them nonetheless.
By simply being present with the sensations, a shift in my awareness occurred that allowed me to transition into observing the breath as it was being breathed in and out.
As I continued with the meditation, my attention gradually focused on the breath itself rather than on the sensations that were arising and fading away.
This everyday practice of mindfulness meditation practice enables me to gradually increase my awareness of every day life, both near and far, and allows me to observe my thoughts without judgment.
In fact, once I started meditating regularly, I began to notice that my thoughts and perceptions were no longer in turmoil.
Instead, they became more clear and less distracting as my consciousness remained present with each experience.
As I continue to practice mindfulness meditation, I find that my physical health and my mental health improve.
I am able to sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed. I am aware of when my emotions are interfering with my concentration and clarity of thought.
When my mind is clear and my body healthy, I am happier and healthier on a whole. In addition to the emotional benefits, the change in my physical health has created a new dimension of mental health that I enjoy living in everyday.
Whether you are a doctor, teacher, parent or just concerned about your own mental health, you can benefit from learning to focus your attention and awareness on your breath.
Mindfulness meditation is easy and can be a wonderful daily practice. Start your day mindful by paying attention to your breath.
You will be amazed at how much you can change your life simply by paying attention to your breath.