Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing your mind on the present moment to improve your emotional and physical well-being. According to some experts, mindfulness helps people accept their experiences rather than react to them with avoidance and aversion.
Mindfulness meditation can involve mental imagery, muscle and body relaxation, breathing practice, and awareness of body and mind.
The Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation
Both terms can be quite confusing because they are often used in a similar context. They embody many similarities but they are not exactly the same. Meditation is a formal, seated practice that focuses inward to increase emotional balance, concentration, and calmness.
Mindfulness is all about paying attention to your feelings, thoughts, movements, and behaviors, or simply being present in whatever your’re doing.
How to Start?
Find a quiet and comfortable place. You may sit on the floor or on a chair with your back, neck and head straight. Stay in the present and put all your past and future thoughts aside.
- Make a whooshing sound as you breathe out completely through your mouth.
- Breathe in silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Make another whooshing sound as you breathe out through your mouth for eight seconds.
How Often Should You Practice Mindfulness?
For starters, a few minutes each day can make a difference. Some people even do it for 10 to 20 minutes. But if you’re committed to a more serious mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, recommends 45 minutes of meditation at least six days a week.
Whatever comes in your way, it becomes easier to accept when you practice accepting your experience during meditation. It also involves being forgiving and kind toward yourself.
Apart from sitting or lying down, walking gives us the opportunity to be in our bodies, being with each step, continually arriving in the present moment. Walking meditations can provide relaxation, stress-reduction, focus, and present moment awareness.
Slowly walk back and forth in a lane, over and over again, for 10 minutes to an hour before sunrise, during lunch break, after work or after dinner.
Mindfulness meditation can be done at any place and time. It won’t solve all your problems, but it will give you strength to overcome any challenges. It also teaches you how to survive the traps of a hectic and busy lifestyle.