What is that one thing that is typical in all of us these days? What is it that we all go through on a daily basis? Yes, it is stress. Our life is governed by the stress we experience and things we worry about. Stress and worry are constants in our daily routine. We stress over many different things; stress to pass an exam, stress to get a job, stress for the future, the stress of the mistakes and wrongdoings we conducted in the past, the stress of being perfect, the stress of what other people will say, and so on and so forth.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
All this stress is derived either from the past or from the future. We all have occupied ourselves so much with the shadows of past and future that we have forgotten how to live in the present. The present is the only reality of the moment. We are often advised to live each moment to the fullest. But, this is easier said than done.
People these days often find solace in meditation, yoga or similar exercises that both calm the body and the brain. Mindfulness meditation is one such variation of an ancient technique that has recently become mainstream. Mindfulness is about learning to live in the present and enjoying every moment of it. It is about accepting what is already there and then responding, not reacting, to the situation, whether good or bad.
We are a tense species, rushing here and there to make ends meet, all the while forgetting that happiness lies in inner peace and not material possessions. This article, however, is not about the do’s and don’ts of achieving that inner peace. It is more about ways your life will transform upon learning this technique of meditation and incorporating it into your daily routine.
The practice does not involve isolating yourself from your surroundings and achieving calmness by numbing your every thought. This technique of meditation, which just requires 30 minutes to reap maximum benefit from, teaches you to be mindful of the present without being judgemental.
The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation enables you to avoid unnecessary stress over things you have no control over. By giving your full attention to the current situation, you can take responsibility for your words and actions and not deny them. You find happiness in tiny details and understand the difference between responding and reacting to a situation. It helps to improve your mood and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness meditation is known to enhance your memory and boost the brain’s hippocampus. Both of these factors are good news for those at risk of dementia or other memory loss diseases. Mindfulness will also help people score better in the brain tests conducted for the detection of early signs of Alzheimer’s.
Being aware and non-judgemental of your surroundings is hard. The things we pay attention to are mostly not in our control. Our mind pays attention to numerous things unintentionally, which causes undue suffering and problems. Judgements are narrow and confining, and hence we are unable to keep an open mind to situations around us. This impacts the way we handle any particular moment of our lives.
Mindfulness teaches us to be patient and non-judgemental. It also shows us the art of letting go of experiences and things that are not in our control. All this is possible because mindfulness makes you aware of the things occupying your attention and time. It makes you more compassionate and knowledgeable of other people’s joy and pain. You learn to appreciate everything around you.
Mindfulness makes you understand that you are greatly mistaken about who you think you are. You may think that you are a completely terrible person, for instance, but that is just a self-image that you have fabricated. That is not who you are. Realising the difference between what is real and what you think is reality is extremely important. It is often the difference between happiness and suffering.
All in all, mindfulness can transform your life in many ways, all of which cannot be listed down. In reality, the benefits of meditation can only be experienced by making the practice a part of your daily life. How it transforms your life is a question only you have the answer to.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia