Are You Missing Out on the Power of Mindfulness?
By Sandy Schroeder
Mindfulness meditation pops up a lot in health news. If you have tried this practice, you may be sold on it. If you have not, you may be missing out on a powerful tool.
Mindfulness focuses on the present moment. Notice how great you feel on the weekends as you fix your favorite omelet, listen to jazz, or play with your cat. Keep looking at the present to pull your attention away from worries or demands. The more you do this the better you may feel.
Harvard Health suggests two ways to try mindfulness meditation.
Take A Seat
- Sit on a chair or mat.
- Focus on your breath as air moves in and out of the body.
- Absorb where you are. Listen to the sounds, feel the air.
- Let your thoughts flow by, good or bad, unjudged.
- Allow about 20 minutes. Then return to regular routines.
The more you do this the stronger the impact may be.
Be Aware During the Day
Use a more flexible approach. Simply focus on the present as you encounter life. You may be eating fresh strawberries, or playing with your kids. Absorb the moment. Breathe in and out letting your body relax. Notice the sweetness of the strawberries. Listen to the giggles of your kids. Let your thoughts flow on by. The more often you zero in on the moment the better life may be.
I enjoy mindfulness meditation on my patio. I sit in a quiet spot, watching the breeze play among the leaves. Focusing on my breath, I feel the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the air. As my thoughts emerge, I let them sail through. Later, I may feel calmer, more centered, more effective. At night I sleep better.
However you achieve a relaxation response that lets you break away from the day, the better your mind and body may function. Harvard Health professors say this relaxation is the opposite of stress. It may help you deal with anxiety, pain, or sleep disturbances.
If this appeals to you, try it on your own, or take classes to learn more. Either way, enjoy the present moment whenever you can.
It's one of the best ways you can hit the reset button on your life and overcome the daily grind that permeates today's society.