HomeMental HealthWhat Is Mindfulness Meditation: 7 Ways to Start Meditating

What Is Mindfulness Meditation: 7 Ways to Start Meditating

Meditation is an extremely beneficial technique that can help you take charge of your life one session at a time. People who are new to meditation and are exploring different kinds of practices should consider guided mindfulness meditation exercises to start their journey.
Whether you want to reduce stress, deal with an emotionally difficult situation, or maximise your well-being, mindfulness meditation can help you. You can easily start meditating on your own at home by following some simple tips.
Here is a beginner’s guide to mindfulness meditation.

What is mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness is a state of being aware in the present and accepting your thoughts, feelings, and other bodily sensations without any judgement or trying to change anything. Meditation is a technique that trains you to focus your attention at will while being aware. Mindfulness meditation combines these two, and the practice trains you to let go of negative thoughts, calm your body, and mind, and slow down the racing thoughts in your head.

 

There are many different types of mindfulness meditation, but at its core, this practice involves taking deep relaxing breaths and being aware of oneself and one’s surroundings.

 

Benefits of mindfulness meditation

Although practising mindfulness meditation every day can be beneficial, you can reap significant benefits by engaging in this practice 3–4 times every week, as per research. Additionally, if you do it regularly for eight weeks, it can actually alter the brain positively.
Guided and unguided mindfulness meditation has numerous benefits. Both positively impact your physical, mental, and emotional health. Here are some of the most prominent benefits of mindfulness meditation:

Reduced stress

Several studies show that mindfulness meditation works really well in reducing stress levels. Beginners can indulge in guided meditations and enjoy its therapeutic benefits . People who have chronic pain and mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, can benefit from practising mindfulness meditation.

Lower heart rate

Guided mindfulness meditation exercises have been known to benefit people with heart diseases. A study revealed that people with heart ailments who participated in mindfulness meditation programmes, had significantly lower heart rates and performed better in a test of cardiovascular capacity.

Better immunity

Research indicates that mindfulness meditation practices can improve your body’s immune function. People who participated in an eight-week mindfulness course experienced a boost in their immune system.

Improved sleep quality

According to research, in guided mindfulness meditation exercises can improve sleep patterns and may also be used to treat certain sleep disruptions. Mindfulness meditation can greatly impact the sleep quality of an individual.

Elements of meditation

A meditation practice can vary greatly from person to person, depending on who the instructor is. This variation helps everyone find or create a suitable practice for themselves. Here are some of the common elements of a meditation exercise:

Relaxed breathing

Calm and even-paced breathing that engages your diaphragm helps your body and mind relax. As you breathe slowly, your body can take in more oxygen from the same breath and relax your upper body to help you breathe more efficiently.

A quiet setting

People who are just starting to meditate can have trouble concentrating due to the wandering nature of the mind. Meditating in a noisy environment can lead to more distractions and leave you frustrated. You should sit in a quiet place for meditation where there are few to no distractions. If you can’t find any calm space, plug your earphones in and play a guided mindfulness meditation exercise.

Focused attention

This is usually the most important element of a meditation practice. By focusing on the sensations of the body or the breath and being aware of them, you free yourself from the mental chatter. This helps increase your focus and improve cognitive functioning.

An open mind

It is important to allow yourself to think and let the thoughts pass without any judgement. Every meditation practice will not be the same, and you may sometimes feel like you are not making any progress. Trust the process and practice regularly to see benefits.

 

Seven ways to start practising mindfulness meditation

Attending a meditation class is a great way of starting your mindful journey, but you can still practice mindfulness meditation if you don’t have the time or resources. There is no point in waiting around for the right time or worrying about the right way to meditate. You can meditate however you like; just a few minutes of guided mindfulness meditation or simply taking some deep breaths, for example, is enough.

Don’t add to your stress, try these mindful meditation techniques that can be easily incorporated into your everyday routine:

Deep breaths

This technique is especially good for beginners, as you can simply sit or lie still with your spine erect and take some deep breaths. As you focus on your breathing, your body and mind will begin to calm down. If your mind wanders, gently return your attention to your breath.

Breathing deeply will help you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings. This is one of the easiest ways to start practising mindfulness meditation.

Body scan

Often a part of the best guided mindfulness meditations, body scans involve focusing on different parts of the body. The instructor invites you to make a mental note as you move your attention to different parts of your body, usually starting from the head and going all the way to the toes. After listening to a guided mindful body scan, you will easily be able to do it on your own whenever you feel like it.

 

This technique involves noticing the different sensations in your body, including pain, warmth, heaviness, and tension. It is important that you don’t try to change any sensations and just make a mental note. As you proceed with the body scan, you will realise that most of the tense sensations go away on their own. For example, as you take notice of your creased eyebrows during the body scan, you will shortly notice that you instantly relax your eyebrows.

Mindful walks

There may be some days when you don’t feel like sitting still, or you may simply want to move around a bit or connect with nature. Many people enjoy movement meditations: one of them includes mindful walks. You can start meditating mindfully whenever you feel like it, whether you are walking in a park or at the mall.

 

To meditate while walking, you can get access to guided mindful meditations specially designed for walking on different apps or on the internet. If you don’t wish to use anything, all you have to do is simply walk at a slow and consistent pace and allow yourself to be present in the moment. Notice the movement of your legs and how your feet lift and push you forward one step at a time. Observe the contraction and expansion movements of your leg and take in your surroundings. Let the movement of your legs be the object of your focus as you meditate.

 

You can also do yoga, such as sun salutations in the morning, to practice mindfulness.

 

Mantra chants

Repeating a mantra or a special phrase (unique to you) can help you channel your focus and awareness better. You can create your own mantra and repeat it a certain number of times. Some religions recommend chanting the ‘Om’ sound 3 times during your meditation practice, while others recommend repeating a mantra 108 times or so.

 

Write unfiltered thoughts

This mindful practice brings you a little closer to yourself and enables you to reflect. You can do this activity early in the morning, before sleeping, or whenever you feel overwhelmed. Start writing anything and everything that comes to your mind without thinking. As you begin to pour your thoughts down on paper, you will notice yourself becoming calmer and more relaxed. Some people do this when they want to think clearly, and their thoughts are scattered in many places.

Listen to gentle music

To practice mindfulness, you can simply play a gentle symphony—a song without lyrics—and follow the sound while laying down or sitting in a quiet place with your eyes closed. Resting in such a place can be extremely relaxing , especially after a tiring day of work. There are many different songs and symphonies available online that you can listen to and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of music.

Focus your attention while performing simple tasks

Simple daily chores, such as doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, folding the laundry, sweeping, and dusting, can help you practice mindfulness meditation. You can make such activities meditative by focusing entirely on the task; for example, if you are folding the laundry, notice the colour of the clothing item, feel its texture, notice how it smells, and other details.. Immersing yourself in the task at hand can calm you down; you can focus better if you are in a quiet place.

Tips to help you start meditating

  • Wear comfortable clothes otherwise you may get distracted.
  • Choose a comfortable position for your practice; if you are not comfortable sitting cross-legged on the floor, sit on a couch or lie down (just make sure that your spine is erect).
  • You may think that you are not doing the meditation correctly, but there is no right or wrong way to meditate. As soon as you notice your attention has shifted, gently bring it back to the object of focus.
  • Consider using a timer with a gentle alarm tone to avoid thinking about the next thing to do. It is not necessary, but extremely helpful, especially for beginners. You will also not miss any commitments if you use a timer in case you fall asleep during the meditation or lose track of time.
  • Find an accountability partner to keep yourself committed to your goal of practising meditation. You can tell your friend or your partner about your meditation routine and tell them after each session. By discussing your wins and challenges, you are more likely to stick with your commitment. If you have joined a course or programme, find an accountability partner in that group.
  • Allow yourself to take a break from your regular routine. It can get monotonous if you repeat the same routine everyday for a long period of time. Thus, taking a break and doing something new can help you stay motivated and cheerful. For example, you can perform a movement meditation and go for a walk in the park or listen to music instead of your regular mindfulness meditation. Research has shown that people who meditate 3–4 times a week enjoy benefits.

What is Mindfulness Meditation FAQs:

What is guided mindfulness meditation?

In guided mindfulness meditation, a trained instructor guides you either in-person or through the pre-recorded meditation step-by-step. This type of meditation is good for beginners as they have to learn how to meditate first, and they can also get distracted easily.
The intention of guided mindfulness meditation is to make you more aware of yourself and the world around you and to live in the present moment. This type of meditation also has a calming effect on most people.

How do I start a mindfulness meditation?

Doing a guided mindfulness meditation, either online or in a class is, the best way to start meditating. If you don’t feel ready or comfortable yet to engage in a guided meditation, you can perform the following tasks with a heightened sense of awareness and focus to start:
• Focus while doing simple chores such as brushing your teeth and doing the laundry
• Deep breathing or breathwork practice
• Performing yoga
• Listening to music
• Writing down your thoughts
• Chanting a mantra
• Scanning the body

What are the 7 main benefits of mindful meditation?

Some notable benefits of mindfulness meditation are:
• Reduced stress
• Improved sleep quality
• Better immune functioning
• Steady heart rate and blood pressure
• Enhanced memory
• Improved connections with self and others
• Increased awareness

About The Author

Dr.William Lewis Aliquam sit amet dignissim ligula, eget sodales orci. Etiam vehicula est ligula, laoreet porttitor diam congue eget. Cras vestibulum id nisl eu luctus. In malesuada tortor magna, vel tincidunt augue fringilla eget. Fusce ac lectus nec tellus malesuada pretium.

MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) Gold Medalist (2009-2015) M.D In General Medicine (2016-2019), CCID (Infectious Diseases)

PG Diploma In Clinical Endocrinology v& Diabetes, Clinical Associate in Non-Invasive Cardiology

Dr.William Lewis Aliquam sit amet dignissim ligula, eget sodales orci. Etiam vehicula est ligula, laoreet porttitor diam congue eget. Cras vestibulum id nisl eu luctus. In malesuada tortor magna, vel tincidunt augue fringilla eget. Fusce ac lectus nec tellus malesuada pretium.

MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) Gold Medalist (2009-2015) M.D In General Medicine (2016-2019), CCID (Infectious Diseases)

PG Diploma In Clinical Endocrinology v& Diabetes, Clinical Associate in Non-Invasive Cardiology

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