by Go Inspire
Mindfulness is a popular type of meditation that has become very trendy in the last few years. It is a way to help you increase your awareness of the present moment, using techniques such as breathing, yoga, and stretching.
It helps us become more aware of our thoughts, manage them better while keeping us from becoming overwhelmed and frustrated.
Mindfulness meditation is a tool to help you live your life, improve your general wellbeing, and treat depression and anxiety. Evidence shows that it can help with several problems, such as recurrent depression, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviour, chronic pain, and much more mental and physical issues. Your doctor will need to decide if the therapy is suitable for your situation before offering access to the treatment.
Meditation is also recommended by the Cancer Research UK, as a trusted and useful form of complementary therapy. It can help people with cancer (and other chronic illnesses) to cope with issues such as body pain, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, nausea, and high/low blood pressure.
Try it yourself!
The following meditation exercise is ideal for beginners and does not require any special equipment. It demonstrates the basic technique and takes just a couple of minutes. It will leave you feeling relaxed and in tune with the present.
Find a quiet spot and take a deep breath.
If your condition allows it, sit erect but relaxed in a straight-backed chair with your feet on the floor.
If you cannot sit, then lie on a mat or blanket on the floor or your bed. Allow your arms and hands to be as relaxed as possible.
Gently close your eyes and focus your awareness on the breath, as it flows into and out of your body. Feel the sensations of the air as it flows in through your mouth or nose, down your throat, and into your lungs.
Feel the expansion and subsiding of your chest and belly as you breathe. Focus your awareness on where the sensations are the strongest.
Stay in contact with each in-breath and each out-breath.
Observe it without trying to alter it in any way or expecting anything special to happen.
When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath. Try not to criticize yourself. Minds wander. It’s what they do.
The act of realizing that your mind has wandered is central to the practice of mindfulness. Try to encourage your mind to return to its place.
Your mind will eventually become calm – or it may not.
If it becomes calm, then this may only be short-lived.
Your mind may become filled with thoughts of powerful emotions such as fear, anger, stress, or love. These may also be fleeting.
Whatever happens, simply observe as best you can without reacting to your experience or trying to change anything.
Gently return your awareness to the sensations of the breath again and again.
After a few minutes, or longer if you prefer, gently open your eyes and take in your surroundings.
How did it feel? Taking the time to align with your mind and thoughts every day will change your perspective.
Taking time for yourself is worthy and important. Start today