A Mindfulness Practice to Shift Out of “Doing” Mode!
Meditation isn’t something new or on-trend. People have been practising mediation for thousands and thousands of years and there is a misconception about what it really is. When you hear the word “meditation”, do you think of a monk on top of the mountain in a lotus position staring at the horizon? In reality, you don’t need to be on top of a mountain and everyone can do it, no matter what time it is, no matter where you are, and no matter what your goal is.
Let's try with some practice!
Take a piece of paper (or a notebook to keep track) and a pen, set up a timer at 5 minutes on your phone, and write down every thought that goes into your mind during those five minutes. Do not try to correct your thoughts, just write them down as they are. In the end, you could even count how many positive and negative thoughts went through your mind. I tend to do this exercise every beginning of the month to analyse my progress on self-love, track the progress in my journey of positive thinking, and how long it takes me to be focused. You will realise that month after month you will have fewer thoughts and enter your state of meditation pretty quickly.
Did you stop thinking during those five minutes? Unless you have been practising meditation for quite some time, it is hard to stop thinking.
Meditation has so many benefits that help you in your journey to happiness, self-love and “be water”. Meditation increases compassion, the immune function of the body, the control of your emotions, your ability to focus and the presence of positive emotions. It reduces anxiety, stress, pain, depression and the sensation of loneliness.
Meditation will help you to pause and slow down the abundance of thoughts in your head, especially the negative ones, and bring you to a state of calm and serenity where you will be able to think, but peacefully and constructively.
If you can control the amount of thoughts and the speed at which they reach your conscious, you can take control of them and anticipate your body responses such as anxiety, stress and pain, and turn off your thoughts like a switch. And if you can turn off the negative thoughts, you will reach a state of serenity and peace with yourself and the present moment. You will stop spending time trying to fight your negative thoughts and will be more involved with the real world. You will finally see how beautiful life is, how lucky you are to be surrounded by Mother Nature with those colourful trees, the lovely melody of the birds, how beautiful flowers can be, how great it is to breathe in the fresh air in the morning when you open your windows…
How to meditate?
The essence of meditation is full awareness. It means you are conscious of what you are thinking, feeling, eating, or breathing. It’s being aware of the present moment, the sensations, the feelings, and be at peace with what’s happening in and out. You have nothing to do to be in a state of meditation, you just have to be.
There are many ways to meditate, and it is such a personal thing that I cannot tell you which technique is best for you. You will need to try all the methods available to find the one that works for you.
We will only focus on two of the techniques that have been used for centuries: mindful/focused meditation and open-monitoring meditation.
Mindful/focused meditation is one of the most used meditation type in the world. It consists on focusing on one specific thing, internal or external such as:
A body part: a specific area or a sensation in the body
Visualisation: focusing on your goals, experiencing your new life after reaching that goal, picture yourself walking in the forest or near the ocean.
A mantra: repeating a phrase or a sound over and over
Counting mala beads: A mala is used to aid in counting and focusing on the repetitions of Mantras. It’s commonly used in Buddhism and Hinduism.
A candle: focusing on the flame is one of the best tool for people who can’t focus.
Open-monitoring meditation is the opposite of focused meditation. You pay attention to all the things happening around you without reacting. While meditating, you witness your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, the smells and sounds around you. No judgment is to be observed, everything is perceived as it is.
THE ART OF REAL HAPPINESS VALUES
Awareness, Inner Peace, Presence, Balance, Grounding, & Openness
Being aware will help you in many ways. One benefit is that being aware can help you gain clarity on thoughts that seem to be out of control. Secondly, if your mind wanders while meditating it will allow you to think about those thoughts in a different way.
Lastly, by being aware in meditation it allows you to recognize when you are feeling different emotions and how your body is reacting to those emotions so that you are able to change the way that you react and make decisions based on them. For example, there might be times when you are really frustrated but instead of yelling or continuing to feel upset and angry you can use guided meditation as an outlet for these feelings and create healthier responses. By being aware of this situation, then not only do you feel better but also the people around you who may have been affected by this situation as well. Guided meditation is one way that we can learn to become more aware of our thoughts and bodies during situations like this. It's important to note that awareness has helped us understand what's going on with our minds and bodies during tough times so we can find balance, grounding, and inner peace which are all key components in mindfulness.
A peaceful state of mind is about deep relaxation, letting go of worries and stress, and resting in an open and receptive space. This can be accomplished through gentle movement, deep breathing exercises, meditation or guided imagery. Another great way to attain a peaceful state of mind is by practicing gratitude.
There are many different ways to cultivate a calm and relaxed mood with mindfulness. Sometimes people feel it right away, other times they need more time or repetition before they start noticing the effects. As with any habit, it's important not to get discouraged if you don't see results immediately! When trying new techniques for reaching a peaceful state of mind, always give yourself at least one week before making a judgment on whether or not it works for you.
One way to be present at the moment is by practising mindfulness. The Art of Real Happiness breaks down what mindfulness is and why it's important. Mindfulness refers to the quality or state of being conscious or aware of the present moment. This means being awake with a curious mind. It's not being caught up in worries about the past or future, worries about ourselves, other people, or our problems. It's also not being caught up in thinking so much that we miss out on what's happening right now. When we're mindful, we feel more balanced because we're grounded in the present moment, there are no distractions from outside influences. We can't control the past and there is only so much that we can do about the future; all we can really control is how present we are at this very moment.
Balance at home and at work can be difficult to maintain because many factors interfere with our day-to-day lives. But you can practice mindfulness everywhere and when needed! When we are able to take a moment and focus on the present without distractions (e.g., technology), it is easier for us to find balance in our busy lives. Remember that everything you do takes energy and can affect your overall well-being, so take care of yourself by practising mindfulness at home and at work today! 1) Take time for some self-care each morning to get grounded before heading out into the world. 2) Focus on your breath throughout the day as often as possible--take three deep breaths anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed. 3) Practice gratitude--even though sometimes life is tough, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for and this will help you put life's challenges into perspective.
So how do you know if you are grounded? The real answer is that you should feel present and at peace. You should be confident in your abilities and your life choices. You should be feeling accomplished in the things that make you happy or fulfilled. You should have a sense of self-worth that stays positive when times get tough. Self-confidence will help keep you grounded. Feeling grounded means being aware of yourself as an individual and having a strong foundation with which to face challenges without feeling insecure about who you are. It also means feeling confident in what you're doing because you know it's right for you. Having self-confidence can help ground us, so we can feel good about ourselves and our decisions while moving forward on our journey through life.
One way that mindfulness can help you find balance is by staying open with your thoughts and emotions. With practice, you will learn how to mindfully observe what is happening in the present moment without judgment. You can take on others' views without becoming defensive or overexcited. This being open allows for a grounded self who is aware of all the different feelings it has. The grounding that mindfulness teaches is important because there are fewer unprocessed emotions running through your system so there's more room for healthy ones! So as you meditate, your body becomes more grounded, which makes it easier to maintain balance within yourself. And this leads us to the next core value of mindfulness - openness. Being open opens up possibilities where they may not have been before; while also opening up our minds (and hearts) to others and life around us in general. Finally, inner peace provides the stability we need to live a balanced life. When we feel grounded, open-minded, and balanced, it is much easier to be open-hearted and accept things exactly as they are. We can feel satisfied with our circumstances rather than trying to change them or worry about the future. Finding balance brings tolerance, open-mindedness, and groundedness into our lives and we can give these qualities to others too. Our ability to ground ourselves in the present moment means that everything is a little bit easier. It takes less energy to deal with things because you're calm and grounded. As we learn to stay open with our thoughts and emotions, we come to see that the world isn't just black and white but instead full of many shades of grey. We begin to understand those around us and work on acceptance. Instead of judging people, we open our minds to understand their perspectives. Instead of complaining about your circumstance, open up your heart and appreciate it for what it is. Practice mindfulness meditation regularly and remember that when you keep an open heart, ground yourself in the present moment, and find balance with openness and tolerance for others, you create inner peace inside yourself.
“I found the 1:1 sessions really helpful as they gave me the opportunity to learn mindfulness and different ways to meditate. I appreciate being able to speak openly and honestly, and discuss my issues which have been causing me stress and anxiety.”