Nowadays people find it hard to keep themselves stress-free. Our hectic schedules and many responsibilities have contributed to this condition.
Studies say that 78% of Indians experience stress in their daily lives and have a tough time relaxing their bodies and calming their minds, which puts them at high risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.
If you want to learn how to live a stress-free life, bring positivity and calm both mind and body then mindfulness meditation is the best mental training practice.
In common mindfulness meditation combines deep breathing and awareness of the mind using your higher brain- the mindful brain to intentionally focus on something in the present moment for a specified period, such as 10 to 30 minutes. In mindfulness meditation, you don’t need aids or any kind of preparation. All you need is a quiet and comfortable place and little time.
You can practice on your own, but a teacher or program can also help you get started, unusually if you’re practicing meditation for specific purposes.
With these simple steps, you can start on your own. The steps are as follows:
Find a comfortable place
Either you can go in search of significant places or you can make any place significant. Having a meditation space in your home is advantageous. It assures that you stay consistent with your practice and helps set the mood for meditation.
Choosing the perfect spot is not that difficult. choose any quiet space. Make sure the lighting is low and you feel comfortable.
Whatever you’re sitting on—sit on a comfortable chair, meditation cushion, or park bench whatever you are sitting on that should be a stable, intensely solid seat, not perching or hanging back. Just make this comfortable for yourself.
Choose your posture
One of the common postures of practicing any meditation technique is sitting.
Let your feet be planted firmly on the floor, legs crossed. Let your hands rest easily on your lap. If you are sitting on a cushion on the floor, cross your legs in front of you. If you are on a chair then touch the bottoms of your feet on the floor.
Straighten your body but don’t stiffen. Let your head and shoulders comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae. drop your hands onto your legs.
Now decide whether you want to close your eyes or keep them open. If you keep them open just have a soft gaze looking down and if you won’t close your eyes softly.
Focus on breathing
Begin to focus on your breathing, for now, don’t try to judge it or change it, just be aware of it.
You don’t need to make it deeper, faster, slower. mindfulness is the art of being present and aware without judgment.
Noticing your breath whatever it’s most noticeable to you so maybe coming in through your nostrils, your mouth, the rise, and fall of your chest, this breath can be an anchor for you or a bridge between your mind and body, heart and emotions, it’s all one. This is simple but not always so easy.
Follow the breath as it goes out and as it comes in, the mind wanders away, Gently escort your attention back to your breathing – 100 times if necessary.
Notice Your Thoughts
As you focus on your breath if other thoughts start to come in. That’s okay, just be aware of them without judging them. Our goal is to observe without getting hung up on anything without judging anything.
You also begin to notice any emotions that you are feeling again just letting it be because you are so present in your body right now. Notice how the emotions affect your physical body or the absence of emotions. Simply be aware and observe without altering or judging you.
Extend this same practice towards any thought and as you let whatever is. Simply be fully aware of your body, your mind, and your emotions.
Just observing it, seeing it as it is witnessing it as it is. You can use this skill in any aspect of your life to simply be aware of it without getting attached or hung up just letting it be and noticing that you can remain calm in that take this calm-centered practicing feeling with you.
Notice your body sensations
If the breath is difficult for you to follow then just notice your whole body. Notice your shoulders rising and falling with each breath.
Let the breath be in the background. Just notice sensations, warmth, coolness, tingling, numbness, or no feeling.
No need to make anything happen. Just notice your body. feel that contact that you’re making with the floor or chair. Just truly being aware, noticing your body feeling the weight of gravity, the points of contact between you, and the surface on which you are sitting.
Feel the air on your skin. You simply become aware of sensations occurring in your body and on your body. Noticing what muscles you are currently using and if possible intentionally let your belly lose if you have been holding it intensely expands especially as you breathe in and then become aware of the sensations.
Give yourself a break
If you are meditating for a long session then set a timer or when you start feeling a bit tense take a break.
Relax your shoulders a little bit and adjust your posture.
Notice your attitude, Notice how your body feels right now. Pause for a moment then decide if you’d like to continue this or you will do it the next day.
Some people do meditation for a longer period and some do for a few minutes.
You don’t need to copy others, remembering a few minutes a day can also make a big difference.
Start with a short, 5-10 minute meditation session and increase your time slowly. Commit a daily practice because you can not see benefits in the short-term; it’s a long-term commitment.
That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.
Impact of Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a specific kind of meditation that helps you change your relationship to your thinking mind. Specifically, the regular practice of mindful meditation allows you to see how the automatic thoughts from your lower brain cause much of the depression, anxiety, and stress you might be experiencing.
In addition, by learning to identify these unhelpful patterns for what they are, in certain situations you will be less distracted by them, which leads to more effective decision making, more fully present lives, decreased stress, and improved physical and mental health. It helps you reconnect with yourself and to find that place of stillness inside.
Here are a few more impacts of mindfulness meditation
Research shows that if we do mindfulness meditation regularly we have a generalized increased body awareness as a baseline, and when we do the breath we feel the places of our body where we feel the subtle movement of breathing. So we experience increased body awareness in those moments.
Relaxation is one of the effects of this practice. Research on the autonomic nervous system shows the more meditation you do the more parasympathetic tone you get and so over time you feel more relaxed.it is an effective way to quickly let go of life’s worries so you can relax and de-stress.
Whenever you become aware that you have been distracted by automatic thinking while meditating, you will be increasing your ability to tell the difference between being in your head with thoughts and being in the present moment through your senses. Most people do not realize there is a difference, but becoming aware of that difference is a key skill for reducing distractions since much of it comes from our automatic thinking.
Whenever you choose to escort your attention back to your breathing after being distracted, you will be “exercising the muscles of letting go” of thinking. Imagine how beneficial it would be if you possessed the awareness and ability to let go of unhelpful thinking. Mindfulness meditation is like going to the gym to develop that ability.
The regular practice of mindfulness meditation leads to insight into the true nature of your thinking mind. The more you practice the more you come to see how your unhelpful, automatic thinking stresses you out, depresses you, or scares you. In this way you can break free from the constraints of past programming, allowing you to live more fully and effectively in the present moment.
The more you practice mindfulness meditation, the more mindfulness you will bring to your life, which will reduce stress, depression, and anxiety and thus improve your physical and mental health.
Mindfulness meditation is the structured practice of mindfulness, whereas mindfulness is life as a meditation. So, whenever you become aware in daily life that you have been sucked into unhelpful, automatic thinking, you can choose to return to the present moment – just as you have been practicing every day when you meditate.
Combining the practice into a daily routine has been associated with lower heart rate and blood pressure, which lower your risk of heart disease. By practicing Mindfulness Meditation helps us soothe our nerves and help our systems run as they should, it improves our immunity and helps us sleep better.