If you’ve heard of mindfulness meditation or read about it, you might be curious about how to practice it. Here’s how to do mindfulness exercises and how they can benefit you.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on intense awareness of what you are feeling and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Mindfulness practice involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
Spending too much time planning, problem solving, daydreaming, or having negative or random thoughts can be exhausting. It can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you shift your focus away from these types of thoughts and engage with the world around you.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Meditation has been studied in many clinical trials. The body of available data supports the effectiveness of meditation for a variety of conditions, including:
- – The stress
- – Anxiety
- – pain
- – Depression
- – Insomnia
- – High blood pressure
Preliminary research indicates that meditation may also help people with asthma and fibromyalgia.
Meditation can help you experience your thoughts and emotions with greater balance and acceptance. Meditation has also been shown to help:
- – Improve attention
- – Reduce burnout
- – Improve sleep
- – Improve diabetes control
What are examples of mindfulness exercises?
There are many simple ways to practice mindfulness. Here are some examples:
– Be careful. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a world that’s spinning at full speed. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses: touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat your favorite food, take the time to smell it, taste it, and really appreciate it.
– Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring open and accepting attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
– Do you accept. Treat yourself like you would treat a good friend.
– Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try sitting down, taking a deep breath, and closing your eyes. Focus on your breath as it enters and exits your body. Sitting down and breathing for just a minute can help.
More structured mindfulness exercises, such as:
– Meditation by scanning the body.
Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from head to toe or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
– Sitting meditation.
Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and hands on your knees. As you breathe through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, write down the experience and focus on your breath again.
– Meditation while walking.
Find a quiet place and start walking slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that maintain your balance. When you get to the end of your path, turn around and continue walking, being aware of your sensations.
When and how often should I practice mindfulness exercises?
It depends on the type of mindfulness exercise you plan to do.
For more structured mindfulness exercises, such as body scan meditation or seated meditation, you will need to schedule time where you can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions. You can choose to do this type of exercise early in the morning before starting your daily routine.
Try practicing mindfulness every day for about six months. Over time, you may find that mindfulness is effortless. Think of it as a commitment to reconnect with yourself and heal yourself.