Mindfulness meditation is getting a lot of attention lately, but what does it mean to be mindful? What is mindfulness meditation? If you have difficult meditating, can you still incorporate this practice into your daily life?
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction, “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” says Kabat-Zinn. “It’s about knowing what is on your mind.” Being more mindful allows you to pay attention to what is happening in the moment, and it enables you to really focus in on the NOW instead of the past or anticipating the future. To be more mindful is to be more aware of your thoughts and emotions as they happen, instead of obsessing over what is to come and what might happen.
Will Mindfulness Really Work?
According to a study completed in 2011, Neuroscientists found that practicing mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, and sense of self. Although this study indicates that more research is on the horizon, these results are significant, and highlight the important of utilizing mindfulness meditation in our daily practice.
Practicing Mindfulness Meditation
To begin to use mindfulness meditation in your daily routine, start practicing for 3-5 minutes per day. Begin by sitting in a comfortable position, and focus on your breath. As your thoughts come in, do not judge them. Instead, allow them in, but do not focus on any one thought. If you are distracted by any one particular thought, redirect yourself back to your breath. Be gentle with yourself, and remember, mindfulness is a practice! Repeat this practice each day, and you will start to feel the benefits of this meditative practice.
If you would like to learn more about mindfulness meditation and how it could help you manage your emotions, please feel free to contact me for a free 15-minute consultation at 312-729-5089.