Mindfulness is a tool that can be used for many things and has a ton of benefits. Learning how meditation works and how you can use it, is key to having a more peaceful life. Here are some of the many benefits mindfulness can bring.
- Gives you a break from all the chatter and noise in your daily life.
- You become more in-tune with your own thoughts and feelings.
- Addresses flaws in your thinking and correcting them with techniques such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
So now that you have a general idea of the benefits of meditating
, let’s start your first mindfulness session now…
Step 1. Breathe
The first step is to simply breathe. Breathing deeply in and out through the nose will help you to reduce your stress levels. By doing this, it allows more oxygen to circulate around your body. It also sends signals to your brain that you are in the ‘rest and digest state’. Cortisol decreases and brain activity slows.
Step 2. Concentrate On Your Senses
The next thing to do is to concentrate on your senses. This is a good way to start bringing the attention inward. Listen for any sounds that you normally miss. Notice what temperature your body is and think about the smells you can detect. Try not to ‘look’ for sounds, 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 body and in particular, how it feels. Start from your head and face and notice the muscles that are contracted. Move down through your neck, shoulders, arms and all the way to your toes. Finally, return your attention to your chest and how it rises and falls as you breathe. Now you’re going to count your breaths for a while 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 or allowing it to sit still. The point is that you are going to remain detached from the flow of thoughts. Even though 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 the center by refocusing on your breathing.
Try not to apply any pressure on yourself during this process. Also, try not to expect immediate results. If you need to strop to scratch an itch no worries. The whole point is to allow yourself a gentle break from life. The more you try to push for results, the less likely they are to come.
Well done! You just completed your first mindfulness session. Continue this process for at least 10 minutes a day and see how much calmer you will become!
To your meditation,
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