Updated: Mar 4
Before we talk further, let's break down the words:
Meditation is exploring with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.
It’s not a fixed destination. Your head doesn’t become vacuumed free of thought, utterly undistracted. It’s a special place where each and every moment is momentous.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.
Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. It combines meditation with the practice of mindfulness, which can be defined as a mental state that involves being fully focused on "the now" so you can acknowledge and accept your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
"You are not your thoughts."
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation:
Consider a background music (I've made you a playlist on Spotify).
Focus on Breathing
Notice Your Thoughts
Be Kind to Yourself
Use Guided Meditation Video (I've created some for you on YouTube).
Use a Guided Meditation App (personal recommendation: Calm app)
The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation:
Lower heart rate
Making mindfulness meditation a regular practice can lead to stronger effects, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you need to do it every day. Studies have found that meditating three to four times per week can have big benefits—and, regularly meditating for eight weeks will actually alter the brain, according to neuroimaging studies.
Tips to Practice Mindfulness in Daily Life
As you practice mindfulness meditation, it helps to find ways to bring mindfulness into your everyday life—especially on those days when life is too busy to carve out a minute alone. When we are mindful of our actions, we pay more attention to what we are doing. It’s the opposite of going through the motions—instead, you are tuned into your senses, noticing your thoughts and emotions.
Brushing your teeth: Feel your feet on the floor, the brush in your hand, and your arm moving up and down.
Doing dishes: Savor the feeling of the warm water on your hands, the look of the bubbles, and the sounds of the pans clunking on the bottom of the sink.
Doing laundry: Pay attention to the smell of the clean clothes and the feel of the fabric. Add a focus element and count your breaths as you fold laundry.
Driving: Turn off the radio—or put on something soothing, like classical music. Imagine your spine growing tall, find the half-way point between relaxing your hands and gripping the wheel too tightly. Whenever you notice your mind wandering, bring your attention back to where you and your car are in space.
Exercising: Instead of watching television while on the treadmill, try focusing on your breathing and where your feet are as you move.
That’s it. That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. All you need to do is to actually do it.