You might have heard about mindfulness meditation but do you know what it is?
Mindfulness Meditation is a research-based form of meditation derived from an ancient Buddhist practice called Vipassana or Insight Meditation.
It was designed to prevent the mind from experiencing fear and anxiety by focusing your attention on your breath and other inner and outer experiences with acceptance and compassion.
By paying attention to your thoughts, physical sensations, sights, sounds, smells and anything else that you might not normally notice you cultivate a peaceful state.
Although mindfulness skills sound simple, they take a lot of practice to perfect since being mindful is so different to your normal way of thinking.
Our minds are often engaged in thoughts about the past or the future – thinking about what we need to do or going over what we have done, which prevents us from being in the moment and from knowing what is going on around us at any given time.
The primary focus in Mindfulness Meditation is your breathing, but the primary goal is a calm, non-judgmental awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without engaging with them, which eliminates excessive worrying and anxiety.
So, how do you do Mindfulness Meditation?
- Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight.
- Direct your attention to your breathing, making sure to breathe in and out deeply through your diaphragm.
- When thoughts, emotions, physical feelings or external sounds occur, simply accept them and allow them to come and go without judgment.
- When you notice that your attention has drifted off and is focused on your thoughts or feelings, simply recognize this and gently bring your awareness back to your breath.
- It’s natural for thoughts to come up and for your attention to follow them. Every time this happens simply continue bringing your attention back to your breath.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation for 15 minutes each day to realize the benefits of a calm, peaceful and relaxed mind.