Mindfulness and Meditation

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is simply being attentive to what’s happening right now in the moment. It helps you recognise that negative thoughts don’t represent reality. Mindfulness is the best antidote for being on autopilot in our day to day activities.

Mindfulness encourages calmness, focus and awareness and is the acceptance of how things as they are without wanting to change anything.

It can be as simple as taking ‘mindfulness moments’ in our day to check out of the busyness and check in with ourselves. It is just like a muscle that needs to be flexed on a regular basis to help it get stronger. These moments don’t require extra time, they can come from our daily routines.

Mindfulness Practice Examples

While taking a shower pay attention to the physical sensations of the warm water.

While walking from your car to work, notice the green trees and the blue sky.

While eating your dinner, focus your attention on the taste and texture of the food.

While brushing your teeth, take time to notice what you actually do when you brush.

2. Meditation

Meditation is the practice of calming the mind and focusing on the breath. It is turning our attention away from the outside world and instead looking within.

Meditation is believed to be one of the best shortcuts to achieving calm in our busy lives. It is also considered to be one of the best preventative medicines available to everyone of us.

It allows the body to rest on a deeper level and enables the nervous system to repair, recover and rejuvenate from stress. It helps us to discover our own inner source of peace, calm and contentment which nurtures and strengthens us to cope with the modern pressures of everyday life.

A daily mediation practice will teach you about yourself and others and enhance the best version of you.

The common phrase ‘the answers are within’ highlights the broad benefits of meditation and range from physiological to psychological and everything in between.

Here are just some of the reasons to start meditating:
1. Helps you better manage stress
2. Helps you achieve more by doing less
3. Lowers your blood pressure
4. Leads you to your purpose
5. Increases your emotional intelligence
6. Promotes more restful sleep
7. Makes you more fun to be around
8. Promotes cellular regeneration
9. Lessons your desire to control other people
10. Improves digestion
11. Helps you develop patience
12. Increases your immunity

Meditation Practice Example

Sit in an upright position with your hands resting comfortably in your lap. Close your eyes and maintain wakefulness. Start your practice for 1 minute a day and gradually build up to 10 minutes a day.

Step 1 - Simply focus on breathing in through your nose for 3 seconds.

Step 2 - Simply focus in breathing out through your nose for 3 seconds.

Step 3 – Repeat steps 1 and 2.

Tips to Remember

• Follow the movement of air in and out through your nose as you take deep, slow, conscious breaths.
• Watch your thoughts come and go, acknowledge them, then let them go.
• When you inhale, in your mind say ‘I am’ and when you exhale, in your mind say ‘at peace’.
• The benefits of meditation come from just 1 minute a day.
• Meditating first thing in the morning is an excellent start to the day.
• Meditation, is a ‘practice’, and hence needs to be done on a regular basis.
• Meditation can be done at any time and any place.
• Never underestimate the power of your own breath. It can work magic in your life.