In this blog we will address the question ‘What is mindfulness meditation?’
Mindfulness means being aware of the present and attentive towards your surroundings. One acknowledges his thoughts, feelings and actions without the fear of being judged. He tries to calm his mind and body by letting go of negativity.
One intentionally diverts his thoughts away from something unpleasant or negatively overwhelming, relaxing his body and mind.
This deliberate act of avoiding stress provoking stimuli is practiced via meditation. This means, focusing on the present, forgetting the negativity of the past. When meditating, one needs to fully pay attention towards the good things around them. Meditation allows them to grasp positivity.
How to practice mindfulness?
Someone who suffers from stress or anxiety practices mindfulness by, for example focusing on the taste and texture of food while eating, looking at one’s own body posture when exercising and or talking or doing actions without the fear of judgement.
Mindfulness can also be practiced during day-to-day activities. For instance, paying attention to the act while walking, brushing teeth, bathing etc. You can also try the mindful yoga for practicing mindfulness.
Other than this, meditation is also a way of mindfulness.
How to practice meditation?
Meditation is a way of practicing mindfulness in which one uses different breathing techniques and body postures to focus on the present rather than stressing over the past.
Someone who wants to relax and calm himself down chooses meditation for exercising mindfulness. One does not need to specially make arrangements and amendments for meditating, but just choosing a comfortable place and posture, and taking out some time (minimum 10-15mins and maximum 45mins-1hr) will help.
Steps of how meditation can lead to mindfulness can be:
- Set a timer for the duration of your meditation.
Amateurs can start with 10 minutes in the beginning, gradually increasing it to an hour.
- Choose a suitable spot in your house or room and keep it specifically for meditating.
- Sit on a chair, floor or yoga mat.
Whatever one finds comfortable and which does not affect his posture.
- Now position your legs and body in a specific posture.
(If on the floor, sit cross legged. And if on a chair, make sure your feet touch flatley on the floor).
- Straighten up your upper body. But don’t make it stiff.
- Drop your hands on top of your legs, making sure you don’t hunch.
- Gently lower your gaze while in the same position. It’s not necessary to close your eyes but if you feel like doing so, you can.
- Stay like this for a while (managing your time according to the timer you’ve set).
- Now feel your breath going in and out of your body.
Concentrate on the body’s behaviour when inhaling and exhaling air, for example expanding of the chest.
This is the most important and main part of meditation, and the reason why it is used as a mindfulness technique.
- Intentionally divert your attention towards breathing, even your thoughts loose track.
- Take a break from the posture and relax your body for a while and then repeat the same procedure again.
This is how meditation is done. Though it’s a simple technique, taking help from a trained professional or teacher can improve its results.
How does mindfulness meditation help people in school?
- It reduces stress and increases focus of children in a classroom setting.
- It improves the behaviour of children by calming them down.
- Increases empathy and resilience.
- Makes a child physically active.
- Increases creativity.
These positive changes in a student’s life are generalised in their normal daily life at home. This is because children become more calm and attentive, listening to what their parents say and performing well in academics.
- Reduces stress.
They are able to cope with their personal anxiety as well as the pressure of workload they face in schools.
- Teachers are able to manage their emotions, by simultaneously teaching students and managing them.
- It improves the student-teacher relationship.
- Teachers are able to understand their students better.
Mindfulness has been widely used in hospitals, schools or work settings for a number of different reasons. It not only helps to reduce stress or anxiety, but also helps in treating patients of different mental disorders.
Above, we have answered the question ‘What is mindfulness meditation?’ and it’s technique and benefits.
Titles to read
- The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day
by Andy Puddicombe
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday
by Matthew Sockolov
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
by Mark Williams, Danny Penman, et al.
- Mindfulness Meditations for Anxiety: 100 Simple Practices to Find Peace Right Now
by PhD Michael Smith
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being attentive towards your surroundings and things you can see going on around you. Whereas meditation is being aware of something which u can’t really see but feel.
What are some mindfulness exercises?
- Taking deep breaths
- Being attentive while doing daily activities
- Breathe into the fingers of your clenched fist
What is mindfulness meditation called?
It’s known as MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction).
How do I start practicing mindfulness?
By paying attention to what’s going on around you in the present.
Being aware of your surroundings.
Practicing meditation and other techniques.