What is Mindfulness?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, mindfulness is, "A mental state or attitude in which one focuses one's awareness on the present moment while also being conscious of, and attentive to, this awareness. Also: the cultivation and practice of this, esp. as a therapeutic technique."
Basically, mindfulness is a way of slowing your body and mind down by becoming aware of the present moment. Breathe in and out slowly. Notice your senses. What do you see, smell, or hear in the present moment?
Mindfulness, including specific practices like mindfulness meditation, is a popular ways to cope with racing thoughts, anxiety, and stress. When you are feeling sad about something in the past or anxious about the future, take a moment to focus on the present moment.
Learn More About Meditation
Just like with any sport, meditation takes practice to receive benefits. Some benefits of meditation include promoting emotional health, better sleep, reduced stress/anxiety, enhanced self-awareness, self-esteem, better focus/concentration, decreased blood pressure and more. According to Healthline, there are nine popular types of meditation practices:
In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.
Spiritual meditation can be practiced at home or in a place of worship. This practice is beneficial for those who seek spiritual growth and a deeper connection to a higher power or spiritual force.
Focused meditation involves concentration using any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention.
This is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you into a deeper connection with your body and the present moment. Movement meditation is good for people who find peace in action and want to develop body awareness.
Some people enjoy mantra meditation because they find it easier to focus on a word than on their breath. Others enjoy feeling the vibration of the sound in their body. This is also a good practice for people who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition.
Transcendental meditation was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and refers to a specific practice designed to quiet the mind and induce a state of calm and peace. It involves the use of mantra and is best taught by a certified TM practitioner.
Also known as body scan meditation, progressive relaxation is a practice aimed at reducing tension in the body and promoting relaxation.
Loving-kindness meditation is used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others. It typically involves opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living beings.
Visualization meditation is a technique focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by visualizing positive scenes, images, or figures.
Read more about these types here
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