With so much going on in our busy lives, it’s important to take a breathe every now and again. Whether it’s an overloaded class schedule, an intense job or a lengthy commute that’s got you feeling overwhelmed, or maybe you don’t feel overwhelmed at all and you are looking for new ways to become healthy, meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you in all areas of life. Meditation and other mindfulness techniques have benefits themselves, but even more so, mindfulness is to help every area of your life improve.
So much of our day is spent in routine. We wake up, workout, shower, eat, do our beauty routine, go to work, etc… but how much of it are we really paying attention to? Being mindful is all about simply making sure that each action you take is cared for and not simply done out of habit or routine. Mindfulness and meditation enables you to set aside time to think about life. Your life specifically and all of life as it interacts together and plays out in your daily life.
Meditation and mindfulness techniques
1. Mindfulness Meditation
You can practice mindfulness meditation either inside in a calm and quiet room or outside in nature. Set aside sometime in the morning, or at any point during a stressful day, or in the evening before bed to improve your night sleep. Simply sit with your eyes closed, cross-legged somewhere comfortable, your back straight. Breathe in and out, and be aware of your breath and your abdomen as your breath. Clear your mind, and be still. Once your mind has been cleared of all distractions and you are calm, begin thinking of a mantra, concentrate on a visual subject, or follow the voice commands of who is leading your meditation. You may think about something in particular or nothing at all. The goal is to be calm, present and centered.
2. Guided Meditations
If you are new to meditating or would like someone to lead you in the practice, then there are many ways to have a guided meditation. Guided meditation is beneficial because it causes your brain to remain on track and not get distracted. It can also help you ensure you stick to a specific thought pattern if you need assistance with thought process during meditation. There are many classes, online videos and even phone applications such as “Headspace” and “Calm” that can provide you with great guided meditations.
Yoga has become increasingly popular in the last decade, and has many popular health and fitness benefits. Modern yoga classes range in style and often revolve around the physical movement of our bodies. Initially, Yoga began as a Hindu spiritual and aesthetic discipline which includes breath control, simple meditation, and the practicing certain physical postures that all aid to relax and rejuvinate mind, body and spirit. Find a yoga class that has good meditation and “Shavasana” as well as bodily poses and postures.
There are many health benefits to meditation. Although our bodies sleep at night, our brains are literally constantly on and working. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed at all, or know that something stressful is coming up, such as a big trip, special occasion, or even just another Monday, practicing mindfulness can help you reduce stress that you are experiencing and even prevent stress before it happens.
1. Gain Perspective, Calmness, and Peace about life
Meditation helps you to get perspective about life. If you sit and take the time to think thoroughly about life, and what you are experiencing, you may find yourself become underwhelmed and calm with the realization that everything will be okay. Many times, it is our mind that needs convincing, and meditation can be the perfect medicine.
2. Manage Your Weight
Meditation can help keep your stress and cortisone levels down. Cortisone is the hormone that releases when we are stress and causes weight gain, so reducing stress can also reduce weight gain.
3. Keep your heart and body healthy
Reducing stress can keep your blood pressure low, and give your heart a rest. Constant stress can age you in many ways, including increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and complications. Meditation can reduce your risk by redcing your stress. Practices such as Yoga can help your body in incredible ways as well. The practice of including your body in being mindful can aid in your overall health, fitness and longevity.