What does someone mean when they mention Mindfulness Meditation? According to Wikipedia "Mindfulness is a way of paying attention that originated in Eastern meditation practices" "Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally" "Bringing one's complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis".
Let's break this down a bit more with the benefits and various methods...
Decreased Stress and Anxiety
According to American Psychological Association, “MBCT is an eight-week, group-based program that incorporates mindfulness exercises including yoga, body awareness and daily homework, such as eating or doing household chores, with full attention to what one is doing, moment by moment.” Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines elements from mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
Ability to Deal with Illness
In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as a critical element in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Increase Body Acceptance
Body Anxiety is a major source of suffering among women of all ages. If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. It can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
When you induce a state of total relaxation, which can be achieved through mindfulness meditation, yoga or other activities, you can obtain the benefits that include:
- Higher brain functioning
- Increased immune function
- Lowered blood pressure
- Lowered heart rate
- Increased awareness
- Increased attention and focus
- Increased clarity in thinking and perception
- Lowered anxiety levels
- Experience of being calm and internally still
- Experience of feeling connected
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness practice is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly in a comfortable place and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra. Example: "I am okay" or "I am strong, stable and at peace".
Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Observe each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and then gently let them go.
Urge surfing – Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Observe how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
DISCLAIMER: Parts of this posts were taken from several articles found via Google. Please be aware that it is a combination of my own writing and others.