“Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it.”
In a previous article, I had discussed how a state of mindfulness is not just a mental or psychological exercise. Done properly, it can also have a number of physical benefits as well. After writing that article, I got a couple of questions asking how exactly one would get started if they’ve never done so before. It’s my hope that this article answers some of those questions and serves as a basic introduction to mindfulness meditation.
Firstly, what is mindfulness? It’s a mental state in which one is consciously aware of the situation and yet, remains relatively blase about it no matter how joyful or how perilous the situation is. In a lot of ways, it’s similar to achieving a Zen-like state which is described as “having no burden of thought and emotions and thus, open to everything.”
One of the ways to start achieving a rudimentary level of mindfulness is to mentally note everything you do in a day. For example, when your eyes open, reiterate to yourself, “I am awake in my bed under the covers.” When you’re having breakfast, describe what you’re eating and drinking to yourself like, “I’m having eggs and bacon and a large cup of coffee.”
If you do this often and on a fairly regular basis, you’ll notice that your state of consciousness will increase. As human beings, we’re accustomed to doing so many things that we take for granted such as eating, showering, sleeping, making love, etc that very often, we do them on autopilot without giving it a second thought. The goal is to not have any activity or occurrence in our lives without some sort of acknowledgment no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
After you’ve done this for a few days or weeks, however you long you think it takes to become accustomed to it, transition into the meditation process.
- Find a quiet place wherever you are. This will obviously be easier to do if you’re at home rather than at work or anywhere else in public but it it can be anywhere as long as it’s quiet and you’re alone.
- Much like you’ve been doing for a while now, assess the present situation and make a mental note of it. For example, you can tell yourself, “I’m sitting here on my bedroom floor on a Thursday afternoon. I have these things on my mind.”
- Bask in whatever emotions you feel whether positive or negative for a minute or so then tell yourself, “I acknowledged my emotions. Now it’s time to let them go.” This is obviously easier said than done. That’s where the weeks or months of acknowledging everything prior to this moment will come in handy. If you’ve practicing doing that for a while, it’ll be easier.
- Let go of any judgement, even if there are serious issues. Tell yourself something to the effect of, “I have these issues but I will reward them anger or frustration. I will reward them rectification so they don’t come back.”
- Come back to the present situation and acknowledge it again. A big element of mindfulness is awareness so the more you acknowledge, the more aware you’ll become.
- Once you’ve completed the above steps, focus on your breathing. I won’t go into too many details on this as I’ve written posts about stress breathing exercises before. If you haven’t, please go back in the archives and use those posts as a supplement to this article. The key, in general, is to make sure your breaths are as deep and as long as possible.
Again, it’s important to emphasize that the steps described in this article are no doubt easier said than done. Just willing away negativity is not a walk in the park. But like anything else, if your attempts at mindfulness are often and done regularly, it’ll become easier overtime.
What are your thoughts on mindfulness meditation? Have you heard about it or tried it before? Why or why not? Do you think it can help ease the mind if done with sincerity? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.
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