Mindfulness And Meditation: Be Mindful And Less Mind Full

December 31, 2015


Image Credits: pixabay.com (CC0 Public Domain)
Many people are addicted to all sorts of things such as drugs or alcohol but one of the greatest addictions that is rarely documented is the addiction to thinking.

You contemplate on many things at once just to beat the horrific deadlines and to please your demanding boss. One moment you are thinking about a delicious restaurant to eat, the next moment you are questioning what exactly are you doing with your life!

Thinking will only confuse you. Thinking will lead you away from the simplicity of the present moment.

Hence, you must remember the essence of slowing down. Give yourself the break it deserves through mindfulness and meditation.

Mindfulness is the intentional and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on what is happening (e.g., emotions and sensations) now. With the help of mindfulness, you are trained to be in touch with your present state that can later improve your quality of life, reduce our anxiety, and stress.

When you are mindful, you are open to living every moment of your life without judgement of what awaits ahead. Some are even able to immerse themselves to the experience and recall of every details about their lives. This superior ability is called hyperthymesia or autobiographical memory. 


But to the rest of us, what does it take and what does it really mean to live in the present moment?

MINDFULNESS AND THERAPY

Here is what Mindfulness does to your brain:


Mindfulness have been translated to therapies through the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction therapy (MBSR) and the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy (MBCT). MBSR was founded in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. A MBSR program is an eight-week long workshop that consists of group meetings, homeworks, and instructions in formal techniques namely:  mindfulness meditation, simple yoga postures, and body scanning.

While the MBCT fuses the traditional Cognitive Behavioral therapy methods with the modern mindfulness and mindfulness meditation techniques. It is especially proven to be effective in preventing the relapse of depression. 

MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION

To cultivate and hone mindfulness at your own pace, a suitable activity to practice is meditation. According to Cahn and Polich (2006):


"Meditation is used to describe practices that self-regulate the body and mind, thereby affecting mental events by engaging a specific attentional set." 

This calming of the mind and the body through the capacity of focused attention to the present is attributed mostly to religious contexts. Nowadays, meditation is commonly practiced in Yoga. Meditation or Pranayama is one of the fundamental eight limbs of Yoga. In Yoga meditation, all you have to do is to lay down or sit straight while clearing your mind and focusing on relaxing.

The activity may sound simple but it is absolutely not that easy! You may feel distracted, uncomfortable, and intimidated at first but pretty soon you will be able to ignore your drifting thoughts and focus on your breathing and your surroundings. 

Personally, I use meditation to conclude my workout and to reduce the momentary tension or stress. Try it for yourself:



Simply put, MINDFULNESS is a state of total absorption to the present. You may acknowledge the existence of your thoughts and allow it to rise but, you must not follow where your overactive mind leads you!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6

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