Insights, Tips, and Just Cool Information
This article was contributed by: Krista Harper
You may have heard about mindful or mindfulness meditation lately. This type of meditation is getting a lot of attention because it's an accessible form of meditation that anyone can do anytime, anywhere, and shirks the typical image many of us may have about meditation, which may involve a long haired guru chanting and sitting cross legged on a mountaintop.
You don't need any kind of special training or to be sitting in a particular position to practice mindfulness meditation; in fact, you don't need to be sitting at all. That's because this kind of meditation involves focusing on the present moment and keeping your senses engaged during any particular activity, whether that be eating, cleaning, or even brushing your teeth. During mindfulness meditation you're only concerned with the present and not feeling regret about the past nor worry over the future.
This type of meditation delivers real benefits from helping you manage your weight to sleeping better and reducing anxiety. Here are the top benefits of mindfulness meditation, along with some tips on how to do it.
It Can Help You Fall Asleep
35% of American adults aren't getting at least seven hours of sleep per night. If you're one of them, you may want to pass on the sleeping pills and try a little meditation before hitting the hay. A small study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that a group of people who practiced mindfulness meditation experienced less insomnia, fatigue, and depression compared to another focus group that did not do the daily practice.
The simple act of focusing on your breathing helps you relax, slows your heart rate down, and removes negative thoughts that can prevent you from drifting into slumber. Along with setting a daily bedtime and cutting back on caffeine, meditation can play an important role in your wind down routine.
It Can Ease Anxiety
Mindfulness meditation helps you gain control of your thoughts and prevents your mind from racing, which can ease stress and anxiety. By focusing on the present moment, you're not letting worrying beliefs hijack your mind, and you'll begin to feel more positive about yourself and your life.
A Biological Psychology study discovered that mindfulness meditation can help people let go of fearful feelings and responses to certain memories and situations.
It May Help You Lose Weight
A McGill University study found that mindfulness was effective at combating obesity and keeping pounds off long-term. This is because mindfulness meditation helps you focus on the sensations of eating, helping you enjoy your meal more and even feel more satisfied when you're done. You'll notice the color, aroma, taste, and mouth sensation when you eat while practicing mindfulness mediation. This can help slow down your eating, helping you feel full sooner and you may become less prone to emotional eating which can pack on weight.
Another study found that mindfulness meditation helped women be more accepting of their body size and less likely to body shame themselves.
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Getting into the groove of mindfulness meditation is straightforward—you want to focus on your breathing and the act of inhaling the breath and letting it out. Let any thoughts that enter your head simply pass through. If you are doing an activity, then focus on the sensation of that task. If you are ironing laundry, for example, you can pay more attention to the smell of the clothing, the hiss of the steam from the iron, and the satisfaction of taking wrinkles out of a garment.
You can also meditate while sitting or lying down in a comfortable position and location. If you prefer, you can follow along with a guided meditation designed to relieve stress or help you focus on positive affirmations.
Learn Mindfulness Meditation With GabeYoga
Regularly practicing mindfulness meditation can greatly improve your daily life. Here at GabeYoga, we teach a variety of yoga techniques that incorporate mindfulness meditation. Check out our GabeYoga Academy products and courses to find the right one for you.