There are many literatures out there on how mindfulness helps both physical and mental health. People want to practice mindfulness to harvest the benefits. However, there could be challenges that prevents you from spending quality time on mindfulness. That could be because of the misconceptions you have on what it is about.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation. With mindfulness, you focus on being aware on what you are sensing and feeling at the moment. To be mindful you also need to let go of your interpretation and judgement. Popular mindfulness practicing methods include breathing methods and guided imagery. The challenge could be that you find it hard to focus even for 20 minutes when you start. You might also find it hard to find time to spend some focused time.
Three to Five Minutes at a Time
One of the common problems is that many people want to start with breathing methods and spend sizeable time on the exercise as soon as they start. And in the process, you sense that your mind is running all over the place and it is hard to keep focused. Eventually you might end up being frustrated.
Rather than focusing on spending prolonged time, you might find it more practical to spend few minutes, may be 3 to 5 minutes at a time. You can take a moment to
- Close your eyes
- Pay attention to the breathing process – inhaling and exhaling
You could do this several times a day, time to time as you progress along the day. You could do it in the middle of your work, whatever the work type is, time to time.
Once you get to this practice, you get the sense and confidence that you need to keep going.
Listen to the Calm
Another method is to close your eyes and listen to the calm
- Close your eyes
- Focus on the calm around
- Don’t try to find sounds
- If you hear anything just let them pass
- Don’t interpret, don’t judge what you hear
- Just let them come and go
You may want to practice this in quiet places when you start. Once you get used to the model, you could do this wherever you are. You could do this for 3 to 5 minutes when you start. And you can practice this multiple times a day.
The relaxation you experience being mindful using simple techniques even for a few minutes will help you relax and recollect. Stress, anxiety, and depression are often caused by continuous force that you put on your mind. Prolonged stress will lead to both physical and mental health problems. Rather than keep fighting stress, it is best that you let your mind relax time to time with mindfulness.
For example, when you are at work, you can take a moment to lean back to your seat, close our eyes, then breath and focus on the calm around you. You will feel a great boost in your status of your mind once you do this.
Practicing “Let Go”
Letting go somethings sometimes heals a lot of problems and ailments. However, many people find it hard to let go things. For example how easy it is to let go that anger and hurt mixed feelings initiated by thinking about something bad done to you by someone.
Practicing mindfulness would help you let go better. For example, when you focus on breathing and you hear something, your minds wades away from breathing to that sound. If you let that sound go and focus back on breathing, you let go the sounds.
The same applies to the method of listening to the calm. When you hear a sound, amid calm, your mind can go after the sound. However, when you focus back on the calm, you let go the sound.
The technique you can use to letting go of a sound in this situation is not to interpret and not to judge. When you practice this simple technique, you can gradually apply the same on stressful situations and let the stress pass. For example, that something bad done by someone, let it pass by not repeatedly interpreting and not judging. The sounds come and go, so are the other people’s actions.
Health, Healing and Mindfulness
The long-term benefits of mindfulness are health and healing. Science has proven that many physical health problems are also connected to our mental status. Better the mind, better the physical health. The mind has a healing power on your body.
Even if you have a serious physical health issue, while you must bank on doctors and medicine, if your mind is not calm, it takes time to heal. The idea is not to fight physical health problems with forced mindfulness. Rather the idea is to be able to practice mindfulness even at times of trouble. As with everything, even in mindfulness, perseverance and practice makes it perfect. Don’t force it, don’t push it, start small and let it help you relax and heal both your body and mind.
- Close your eyes
- Listen to the calm
- Let go the sounds you hear
- Don’t interpret, don’t judge
- Start small, 3 to 5 minutes at a time
- Repeat throughout the day, time to time
- Practice makes perfect
Next: How to control your monkey mind?