Effectively Engaging in Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the state of being present in the moment and focusing on our feelings and senses without judgment. It is the experience of our breathing, our surroundings and our bodies. We become conscious of the positivity or negativity of our feelings and the complete release of tension. Once we recognize the feeling, we accept it and move on without further thought or exploration.

The purpose of mindfulness is to label and reduce stress, anxiety, cyclical thoughts and depression. It serves as a redirection of our attention to draining thoughts, such as planning, problem-solving and worry. It has also been proven to improve attention, sleep and even health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes. 

Though the concept is consistent, there ere are many different ways to exercise mindfulness. Different techniques work for different people. 

1-Deep Breathing

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap, eyes closed.
  • Breathe in through your nose.
  • Deliberately slow your breathing down
  • Breathe from your relaxed stomach
  • Breathe in while counting slowly to four.
  • Pause
  • Breathe out while counting slowly to four
  • Pause
  • Repeat
  • If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.

2—Body Scan

  • 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 toe to head or head to toe. 
  • Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.

3—The Observer Meditation

  • Take a comfortable seated position, and close your eyes
  • Let yourself settle into your body and your mind.
  • Try to let go of thoughts and clear the mind of its usual considerations.
  • Focus your attention first to the room you’re sitting in. Picture yourself from the outside as you sit, exactly as an outsider might. 
  • Shift your attention inwards into your skin. Try and feel your skin as you are sitting in the chair.
  • Try to envision the shape that your skin is making as you sit in contact with the chair, shifting your awareness toward any physical sensations you are experiencing. 
  • As you feel each one, acknowledge its existence before letting your consciousness let go of it and move on naturally.

4—Mindful Listening

  • Choose a calm song or melody that you are unfamiliar with
  • Do not do research on the song before the exercise
  • Listen for each instrument used and separate them from each other
  • Focus on the vibrations of the voice, as well as its rise and fall
  • Allow the song to wrap around you, pulling you away from all conscious thought

5—Guided Meditation

  • Visit YouTube or SoundCloud and search for a mindfulness meditation video
  • Choose a video that includes “guided meditation”
  • Take a comfortable position and close your eyes, listening closely to the words and visualizing each direction the speaker is giving

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