The Merits of Meditation and Mindfulness
Different studies and scientific research have found that both meditation and mindfulness help to reduce the harmful effects of stress and trauma. They can ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression; help with sleep, digestive and emotional problems, as well as many illnesses that affect the quality of life and reduce life span.
When you feel out of control and in the swirl of stress and trauma you can significantly improve your happiness and health by practicing meditation and mindfulness.
There are a number of methods of meditating, and it is important to follow one that you are comfortable with so that you can continue with the practice until it becomes a regular part of your life.
Whether you choose to sit cross-legged on the floor, comfortably in an arm chair or on a hard seat at a busy airport, the process of meditation helps the body, mind and emotions to gradually slow down and settle into a state of calmness.
- As you focus on your breath, and breathe gently your body will begin to relax.
- As you observe the thoughts drifting through your mind, like clouds floating in the sky, your mind will become calmer.
When you follow your chosen method of meditation regularly, gradually it will take less and less time to reach a calm state. And in challenging or stressful times you will be more able to recharge, rebalance and avoid some of the potential physical, mental or emotional harm that may otherwise arise.
Meditate regularly. Maybe begin with ten minutes once a day and over time increase to twenty minutes twice a day. Find what works for you and stick with it.
The process of mindfulness brings you into the present moment and stops your mind from sliding back into the past or rushing ahead into the future. Whatever you are doing, check in with your:
- Mind. Become aware of your thoughts. If they are wandering from what you’re doing, gently bring them back into the present moment. You are the master of your thoughts.
- Body. Notice your body, how it moves and feels.
- Emotions. Notice if your emotions draw you away from the present moment, and if they do gently take your attention back to the here and now.
Practice mindfulness regularly through the day. It is the opposite of multi-tasking and is good for you.
Meditation leads to a state of inner calm. Mindfulness is a state of awareness in the present moment involving all the senses.
Combined, meditation and mindfulness can bring richness and peace and improve your health and happiness.
Warning! When the going gets tough it’s easy to drop the practices and habits that support you, because they aren’t screaming for attention. But this is the very time you need to be strong-willed and follow through with your meditation and mindfulness practices. They will help to bring you back into balance – mind, body, emotions and spirit – so that you can cope in this fast-paced world.