Mindfulness and Meditation
BY READING THIS ARTICLE YOU WILL GET THE FOLLOWING:
- Importance of meditation
- Explanation of mindfulness
- 10 minute morning meditation routine
IMPORTANCE OF MEDITATION:
Practicing meditation means to slowly and gently train the mind to do something it may not have done before... to be still. In the fast paced society that we live in, there is no shortage of distractions and stimuli. Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. It is now estimated that the average person can only fully focus for 20 minutes at a time.
Meditation is a holistic mind-body medicine that effectively reduces stress and relaxes your body. During meditation, you focus your attention on your breathing and eliminate rampant thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress.
This process has proven to result in enhanced emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual well-being. Physiologically, meditation positively impacts the body by alleviating the impact of energy and work on the body. During meditation, metabolic and heart rate are lowered, which reduces the work load of the heart and cardiovascular system. In addition, cortisol and other chemicals resulting from stress, are reduced.
Cultivating the right mind-set and attitude also means making time to center yourself in today's society. We are constantly exposed to stimuli. Set some time everyday - Five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour - to bring yourself back to center. For some people this takes the form of meditation. For others, getting lost in a task or a hobby such as washing the dishes works in a similar way. Find what works best for you.
10 MINUTE MORNING MEDITATION ROUTINE:
1. FIND A CHAIR: Place both feet on the floor, shift your shoulders back, chest up, and hold your neck long and your head high.
2. FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING: (1 MIN) By changing your breath, you change your state of being. A good method is to do a breathing exercise with three sets of 30 breaths each with a pause in between each set.
3. THINK GRATITUDE: (3 MIN) Think of three things you’re grateful for right now. They can be from your past, your present or your future. When you think of the first thing, create as clear an image of that moment as possible, stepping into it with your mind. After about a minute, go to the next thing, then the next. *Pro tip: Make one of these things simple, like a child’s smile or someone saying “thank you” who really meant it. Even on bad days, you can find something small and meaningful to be grateful for.
4. VISUALIZE: (3 MIN) Now comes the part that’s like a blessing or a prayer. It can be as spiritual as you want it to be. You can imagine a colored light coming down and filling your body, healing anything – body, thoughts, feelings – that needs to be healed. Imagine that any problem in your life is being solved. Ask for the best parts of you to be strengthened.
5. THINK LONG TERM: (3 MIN) Now think about the three outcomes or goals that you want the most. These are things that will excite you once they’re complete. Now imagine that they’re done. Celebrate that feeling of completion and victory, visualize how it will impact those around you. As with gratitude, go through each outcome one by one, fully experiencing the feeling of success. Remember, your mind can't tell the difference between imagining and reality if you train it properly.
Do this every morning for two weeks straight and you'll be amazed at the results. Share your experiences below!
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