What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Living in the Moment. Bringing yourself to a place where you can be and feel as you are, without judgment. Slowing it down and being present.
Why do it?
There are many reasons to be mindful, many reasons to meditate. Rather than pushing away all of the feelings that are uncomfortable- like sadness, anger, guilt, judgment, anxiety… you are free to feel them. Acknowledge them. Be with them. It will bring you tremendous peace. The self-awareness it brings will allow you to move forward in a more meaningful and intentional way, maybe to even do things differently, cope in a new way.
What are the physical benefits?
“Mindfulness reduces stress, boosts immune functioning, reduces chronic pain, lowers blood pressure, and helps patients cope with cancer. By alleviating stress, spending a few minutes a day actively focusing on living in the moment reduces the risk of heart disease. Mindfulness may even slow the progression of HIV.” * 1
3 easy things you can do right now to be more mindful:
1. Put down your phone
Just by simply looking up, and noticing what’s happening around you- your kids are playing with each other, your partner is sitting next to you, the leaves are falling off trees- you can begin to feel peace. Notice them, breathe those things in, and stop filling every minute with mindless finger fiddling. “When people are not in the moment, they’re not there to know that they’re not there.”- Ellen Langer, Psychologist
2. Stop Judging Yourself- Nobody else is.
Everything I know about this, I’ve learned in yoga- When I can look at my bare belly while doing a yoga pose- the same belly that housed 2 babies, is loose and sagging from years of being heavy, and be excited and love that it is flexing firmly when I’m contracting, even without looking perfect, I know that I’m getting there. Everyone else in the room is busy looking at their own body (judging it or loving it, either way) to notice mine, so however I feel about it, is my own thing. This is who I am RIGHT NOW. No judgment needed. It just is.
3. Move toward the pain- ouch!
What?!!! Who wants to do that? That’s the opposite of what we may have learned growing up. But when you embrace your conflicts, and tackle your pain, you can then let it go. We run a business, and there is constant conflict, stress and anxiety as to whether it is running the way we want it to. When we are able to stop, name that feeling, and then find a way to break it down, we are then freed from the shackles of the pain. We can move forward. Onto the next thing, which is imperative for growth and change.
*1- For more information on living in the moment- check out The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment
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Written by Jessica Crain, RN, Director of Operations and Co-Owner of Mindful Therapy Group.