By Gopi Rao, CYT 500
Mindfulness meditation is a practice to help a person ground their thoughts in the present. Formally, the technique is practiced seated in a chair or with the legs crossed, back straight to maintain comfort and ease of breathing, in a reasonably peaceful environment to allow for easy focus. The manner of thinking this type of meditation teaches one to practice, however, it can be utilized in any situation, even if you don't have the time or resources to take ten minutes to yourself. If you find yourself battered by pervasive anxiety, intrusive thoughts, or are otherwise getting caught up in your own thoughts in a negative and ultimately unproductive way, it can help to summon up the way of thinking mindfulness is built on. With that in mind, here's how to do that:
Mindfulness starts by focusing on your breathing, in and out. This provides an anchor to consider other thoughts and your general mindset and body from. Directing your focus gets easier with practice, and getting distracted is normal. When you realize you've lost focus on your breathing, note that you've done so in a detached way and then correct.
Focus on the present - the weight of gravity on your limbs. The rhythm of your breathing, thoughts, and corresponding emotions occur as automatically as your heartbeat, and the point isn't to quiet them, but rather to view them objectively and gauge their meaning and worth without getting stuck on one or being bogged down by the confusion. To observe what's happening in your head, as it were, without being part of it. The mind tries to assess the past and run hypothetical run-throughs of the future to learn and prepare, but when these reach extremes that cause distress or lock you into inaction, it's important to keep in mind that you can't relive the past or predict the future. All we have is now.
Using this method to reduce fretting has a demonstrable effect on mental health. A 2015 study by the University of Sussex used mediation analysis to confirm earlier conclusions that mindfulness manages worry and rumination, that these contribute to anxiety, depression and poor mental health, and that as a result mindfulness has an observable net benefit for one's mental well-being, and then continued from there to try to trace the exact means in which it does so.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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