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A Mindfulness Guide: Why You Should Begin Training Your Mind

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Consider mindfulness meditation to be a brain workout. By focusing on your anchor point, which for most people is their breath, it literally trains your brain to remain in the present moment.

The world in which we now live is not conducive to mental health or happiness. Through our many devices, we are continuously assaulted with images and information, and work-life balance appears to be a thing of the past. We found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic just when we felt we couldn’t take any more stress or be asked to do any more.

We were expected to adapt and change the majority of our waking lives overnight, including how we worked, parented, took care of our physical health, taught our children, and interacted with our loved ones. Many people were dealing with challenging emotions brought on by global uncertainty and instability, and a sense of serenity seemed elusive.

What if I told you that by simply waving a magic wand for five minutes a day, you may experience a reduction in symptoms related to sadness, anxiety, pain, and insomnia? That you could improve your ability to pay attention and form long-term memories, protect against cognitive decline, improve your ability to take perspective, increase the grey matter in your brain associated with self-awareness and compassion while shrinking the grey matter associated with rumination, worrying, and mind wandering, be less reactive, have more freedom of choice, be less obsessive about yourself and your past and more present in the moment, be less reactive, have more freedom of choice, be less obsessive about yourself and

Would you agree to wave that wand about every day with care and intention? Most likely, you would. This is exactly what I mean when I talk about mindfulness meditation. If done on a daily basis, it has the ability to accomplish all of these things and more. Today, it is critical that we reflect on the previous year while focusing on the coming year. It would be necessary to consider what vital abilities we felt we lacked and needed to improve in order to be successful in 2021.

Given that our minds play such a significant role in defining our mental and physical health, as well as the quality of our lives, we should begin there. And, before you start building a “to-do” list of cognitive behavioural techniques or positive thinking, the capacity to rest the mind and be in the present moment is the most fundamental talent of good mental health. Here’s when “mind training,” also known as “mindfulness meditation,” comes in handy.

What is mindfulness meditation, and how does it work?

Many people confuse mindfulness meditation with sitting on a cushion and meditating while completely calm and without thoughts. Others think it’s a religious ritual associated with Eastern religions. Mindfulness meditation, on the other hand, is none of the above.

Consider mindfulness meditation to be a brain workout. By focusing on your anchor point, which for most people is their breath, it literally trains your brain to remain in the present moment. When thoughts arise, as they do for even the most experienced meditator, it is then a talent to gently and sweetly refocus oneself to your breath.

It’s also worth noting that mindful living is not the same as mindfulness meditation. Mindful living entails focusing all of your attention on one activity at a time, using your mind and five senses to do it. Walking, eating, or speaking consciously are examples of this. The systematic practise of focusing your attention on one body part or breath is known as mindfulness meditation. This habit of focusing your attention on one subject at a time develops the brain’s connected areas, resulting in several mental and physical benefits.

So, what are the benefits of mindfulness meditation? Here are some of the reasons:

  • It aids in the development of the observer self: You will become intensely aware of the reality that you are not your ideas by focusing on one thing, your breath, and learning to redirect your thoughts as they arise. As your “observer self” grows stronger through daily practise, it will be the part of you that helps you figure out which everyday ideas to let go of and which to nurture.
  • It assists you in living a life that is compatible with your ideals: You can develop your executive centres and learn to calm your mind by practising mindfulness meditation. It gets easier to not be driven by your internal chatter or external situations as a result of doing so. It’s the difference between being in a position of personal power, where you pick which situations to respond to based on your principles, and being a victim of your internal and external circumstances.
  • Every disease is de-risked by mindfulness meditation: Cutting-edge research has proven that there is no distinction between mind and body. The medical specialty of psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrinology was founded on the premise that a stressed mind leads to a stressed body and vice versa. Our minds and bodies are in overdrive because we live in a world that allows and encourages us to be always “on.” Biologically, this means that our bodies never recuperate or relax, leading to an increase in inflammation in our minds and bodies. In terms of mental health, it implies we’re perpetually on the verge of a burnout episode. This chronic state of inflammation wreaks havoc on our systems and leads to disease. Inflammation is at the root of all disease, from autoimmune diseases to heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, and malignancies. You are de-risking yourself from every major mental and physical disease by practising mindfulness meditation and intentionally turning off the “fight or flight” system and turning on the “rest and digest” system.

How to Get Started with Mindfulness Meditation:

Mindfulness meditation, for example, can take many forms, but it often entails breathing exercises and body and mind awareness. The goal is to successfully focus attention on one thing, whether it’s the breath, a sound, a sensation, or anything else.

  • Break the baby stages down into smaller chunks: Begin with the slightest step toward your objective and work your way up from there. Most individuals won’t start meditating for 10-15 minutes every day, so start with one minute a few times a day and work your way up. The idea is to perform it every day at the same time and gradually increase the time.
  • Perform body scans: If you’re having trouble focusing on your breath when you first start, try watching a YouTube video that walks you through a body scan. The body scan is a quick and easy way to check in with the various sections of your body. The scan entails sweeping the mind through the body in a systematic manner, paying compassionate, openhearted, and inquisitive attention to its numerous body parts.
  • Be patient as the process unfolds: You will not notice immediate results from mindfulness meditation on your mental and physical health, just as you would not see immediate results in your muscle mass if you started going to the gym and lifted 2kg weights. To see improvements over time, you’d have to show up on a regular basis and raise your intensity.
  • Other single-minded pursuits can be added to the mix: Chess, puzzles, colouring, stitching, yoga, and other activities can help improve awareness muscles through daily activities.The benefits of mindfulness meditation are limitless when practised consistently and with dedication. With 2020 behind us, we are all too aware of the stress and pressure we are now under. We have a tendency to fall in to these stressors as humans, but with a thoughtful attitude on life and frequent meditation practise, you may refocus on your road ahead by anchoring yourself in the present moment.