Mindfulness Meditation is a mental exercise that wants to teach you to slow down intrusive thoughts, let go of pessimism, and calm both your mind and body. It combines meditation with mindfulness practice, which is a mental state in which you are fully focused on “the now” to acknowledge and accept your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
Mindfulness meditation techniques vary, but in general, it entails deep breathing and body and mind awareness. Mindfulness meditation does not necessitate any special equipment or preparation (no need for candles, essential oils, or mantras unless you enjoy them). All you need to get started is a comfortable place to sit, three to five minutes of free time, and an open mind.
5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Learning mindfulness meditation is simple enough to do on your own, but a teacher or program can also help you get started, especially if you’re doing it for health reasons. Here are some easy steps to get you started on your own following the straight measures of online meditation classes London.
1. Make Yourself Comfortable
Locate a quiet and comfortable location. Sit with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff in a chair or on the floor. It’s also a good idea to dress comfortably and loosely, so you don’t get distracted.
However, because this practice can be done anywhere for any length of time, there is no need for a dress code.
2. Decide a Time
While not required, a timer (preferably with a soft, gentle alarm) can help you focus on meditation and forget about time and eliminate any excuses for stopping and doing something else.
It can also ensure you’re not meditating for too long because many people lose track of time while meditating. Allow yourself time after meditation to become aware of where you are and to gradually rise.
While some people meditate for longer periods of time, even a few minutes every day can help. Begin with a 5-minute meditation session and gradually increase your sessions by 10 or 15 minutes until you can meditate for 30 minutes at a time.
3. Keep Track of Your Thoughts
The goal is not to stop thinking but to become more comfortable with being a “witness” to your thoughts. Don’t ignore or suppress your thoughts when they arise. Simply take note of them, stay calm, and use your breathing as a guide. Consider your thoughts to be clouds passing by; observe how they shift and change as they float by. Repeat this as often as necessary while meditating.
4. Take the Needed Break
If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, whether from worry, fear, anxiety, or hope, simply observe where your mind went and return to your breathing. Don’t be too hard on yourself if this happens; mindfulness is the practice of returning to your breath and refocusing on the present moment.
5. Leverage a Meditation App
If you are having difficulty practicing mindfulness meditation on your own, consider downloading an app that offers free meditations and teaches you a variety of tools to help you stay centered throughout the day.
How Does Mindfulness Meditation Help? 5 Ways
Regular mindfulness meditation practice is beneficial to both your physical and mental health. Some examples are:
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), a standardized therapeutic approach to mindfulness meditation, has been shown to alleviate stress symptoms in healthy people. The practice has also been shown to help with a variety of mental and physical disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
- Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and research indicates that mindfulness may help your heart. In one study, participants were either enrolled in an online mindfulness meditation program or placed on a waiting list for traditional heart disease treatment. Mindfulness meditation participants had significantly lower heart rates and performed better on a cardiovascular capacity test.
- According to research, mindfulness practices may also improve your body’s resistance to illness. One study looked at the effects of mindfulness and exercise on immune function. 3 They discovered that participants in an eight-week mindfulness course improved their immune function more than those in the exercise group.
- Mindfulness meditation has also been shown in studies to improve sleep and even be useful in treating certain sleep disorders. According to one 2019 study, mindfulness meditation significantly improved sleep quality.
- Making mindfulness meditation a regular practice can result in stronger effects, but it doesn’t have to be done every day. According to neuroimaging studies, meditating three to four times per week can have significant benefits—and meditating regularly for eight weeks can actually alter the brain.
The Final Words
Starting a mindfulness meditation practice can be intimidating at first, but it’s important to remember that even a few minutes per day can be beneficial. Being present for a few minutes can yield significant results. Even if you don’t do it every day, it’s a practice that you can return to whenever you need it.