Mindful Meditation Can Help You Destress

If you’re like me, a thousand thoughts are running through your mind every second of the day. I tend to blow up small scenarios in my head, and over think just about anything and everything.

Since practicing mindful meditation, I have become so much more aware of myself and my emotions. Mindful meditation has helped me dwindle down the unproductive worries I had roaming around my mind. I can now experience life with greater clarity and appreciation.

So what is mindful meditation exactly?

Simply put, mindful meditation is a way to train the mind. Our minds are natural wanderers. We are constantly thinking about the future, worrying, and daydreaming. Meanwhile, ignoring what's happening in front of us. Mindful meditation is about training our attention to be present in the moment, free from judgment. A method that helps us become calmer and kinder to ourselves and others.

We are bombarded by thousands of stimuli throughout the day. Were on our phone while watching Netflix, while eating, while attempting to hold a conversation. Our brains can experience sensory overload.

The goal of mindful meditation is to be present in the moment, by drawing our attention to the physical sensations of breathing. Through the mindful awareness in our breath, we can then think, feel, and experience with clarity. This mindful awareness can transcend through all parts of our life, allowing us to live open heartedly.

The powers of mindfulness meditation can be used as a stress reduction technique to help foster a stronger mentality. A self care practice.

Does it actually help?

Although meditation has been formally practiced for centuries, it has only recently come into mainstream media as an accepted technique for stress reduction over the past decade. A number of studies have recently been erupting researching the potential permanent benefits of meditation for pain management, sleep, and overall increase in cognitive function.

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara found that through mindfulness practices, student participants were able to cultivate reduced mind wandering. This lead to increased performances on standardized test scores and working memory capacity.

Other published studies discovered that mindful meditation practices increase connections between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. The communication between these brain functions can help us to be less reactive to stressors. This study supports the possibility that mindfulness practices can potentially change our ability to handle stress in a permanent way.

Meditation allows us to release the pressures we feel from everyday life, so that we can become more productive and emotionally intelligent. It’s the same reason why everyone at Google is meditating. Their business leaders use meditation to avoid experiencing burnouts so they can work and live more efficiently.

Convinced of it’s powers yet?

Here's how to start:

When you decide time to meditate, find a comfortable place in your home where you feel most calm.

  • Sit crisscrossed on the floor with your palms laying open rested on your lap. This is the optimal position for your mind and body to be alert and attentive.
  • Your eyes can be open or closed. For me personally, i find that gently resting my eyes while I practice helps me further focus on my goal to meditate.
  • Next, begin focusing on your breath. Drawing your attention to the physical sensation of breathing.
  • Breathe. In. Out. Find a pace that comes naturally and stick to it.
  • Notice where you feel the breath in your body. Pay attention to it.
  • Allow your body to follow the flow of every inhale and exhale.
  • Begin to feel the pressure in your brain loosen.

When a thought arises, don’t try to immediately push it away. Take a moment and pause.

Mindful meditation is about learning to be with our thoughts. Acknowledge that the thought is there, and then gently and open mindedly come back to your center. What i call your “center” is coming back to the mindfulness in breathing.

You can use your breath as an anchor to the present moment.

That's it. Its that simple. Just keep coming back to mindfully breathing. Again and again.

Sit with yourself and meditate for five to ten minutes every morning or evening. Over the course of time, notice how your mindful awareness continues throughout the day.

Mindful meditation seems deceptively simple, but to actually reap the benefits of this practice takes mental courage and focus. You have to want a better life, to live a better life with meditation. As with anything, practice is important. Don’t expect to master it your first try, and remember to be gentle with yourself. You are trying, and that is the most important part.