Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Mindfulness Movement: A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness - unsplash

*In today’s hyperactive and distracting world, we could all benefit from learning to be more present and mindful. By living in the moment, you can better appreciate the world around and develop an entirely new outlook on life. Mindfulness is an ancient technique that has been a part of Eastern philosophy for centuries.

In the United States, the mindfulness movement really started up just a few decades ago. Since then, the movement has exploded and people of all walks of life have taken up the practice.

If you’re interested in learning about mindfulness meditation, then you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

What Is Mindfulness?

If you’ve ever asked yourself “how do I find out who I am,” then mindfulness is a great place to start. People who are mindful understand that the present is all there is. The past already happened and the future is always later.

In a sense, mindfulness is a way of waking up to life. It’s about being present and focusing on one thing at a time. While it sounds simple, it’s not so easy for most people to do.

Why Is Mindfulness Important?

When you practice mindfulness in your life, you have a sense of heightened awareness. You’re more relaxed and peaceful. When you realize that all you have is the present moment, it’s nearly impossible to stress.

That’s because we almost always stress about what we did or what we’re going to do. Very little suffering can come our way when we’re only focusing on the present moment.

When you become mindful, you’ll notice that you’ve become more compassionate, introspective, and happier. Also, mindfulness is incredibly simple to practice and anyone can do it.

Misconceptions About Mindfulness

As you begin your mindfulness practice, you’ll most likely become restless and even uncomfortable. This is totally normal. Especially at the start.

Your mind simply isn’t used to the lack of stimuli and it will rebel by bringing on a waterfall of thoughts and preoccupations. When you notice your mind trying to distract you, you will need to regain control and refuse to give in.

A lot of people are under the impression that meditation is about completely emptying your mind. And when a thought comes in, they get frustrated and give up. However, this is all part of the meditation.

The more your mind tries to distract you, the better you’ll get at calming it. And in the end, it’s important to realize that even a little bit of mindfulness is better than none at all.

mindfullness - meditating1

Mindfulness Practice

There are five main steps to practicing mindfulness. Let’s go over them below.

  1. Decide a Time

The time you choose to practice mindfulness doesn’t need to be a specific time of day. You can simply decide to do it after you wake up or during your lunch break.

  1. Find a Quiet Place

You can choose a room in your home or a bench at the park. You can even do it in your car if you need some extra isolation. It doesn’t matter where you are so long as you can sit undisturbed for several minutes.

  1. Make Yourself Comfortable

Sit in a position that’s comfortable for you. It’s often suggested that you should sit upright while meditating. If you lie down or slump over then you might end up falling asleep.

You can sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with a backrest. It’s also a good idea to unbutton your pants and loosen your belt. You want to be as comfortable as possible and you don’t want to inhibit your breathing.

  1. Make Your Intention Clear

Before you start, you should utter a couple of words to yourself. State out loud why you’re choosing to practice mindfulness and what you’re hoping to get out of it. Knowing why you’re getting into this practice will help make sure that you stick to it and see results.

  1. Focus on Your Breath

There are a few reasons why you want to focus on your breath. First off, if you focus on nothing and try to have a calm mind, you’ll notice that thoughts continuously rush in. By focusing on your breath and only your breath, you’ll have a singular focus and it will be harder for your mind to wander.

Breathing is also a very calming activity and it can help bring you into a deeper state. At the start, you just want to focus on one aspect of the breath. Decide if you’d like to focus on the nose, the chest, or the belly.

You can change it up between sessions but during each session, just stick to one of those parts of the body and try to only focus on that. Don’t get upset if you get distracted with thoughts. Just return to the breath.

Now You’re Ready to Join the Mindfulness Movement

Hopefully, after reading the above, you feel more prepared to give mindfulness a shot. Remember, it may seem difficult at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll have a lifelong practice that you can utilize to bring about inner peace and harmony. And once you get better at it, you can then help bring other people into the mindfulness movement and encourage them to find peace as well.

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