Mindfulness Meditation

Do you ever feel unable to truly enjoy a moment in your life because you are distracted with thinking of past regrets or worrying about the future? Do you ever feel like you cannot appreciate the good things around you because you are worried they will not last?  This is a common thought process each of us go through time to time. Improving your ability to stay focused on the present and train your brain to avoid those awful thoughts is possible. Mindfulness Meditation can help.
Mindfulness is the ability to stay unconditionally present in the current moment with whatever is happening. We often apply judgements to people, places and events in our life that affect how we respond in situations, sometimes negatively. Mindfulness allows us to accept what is without any biases. This changes the negative perception we cast on the world around us. Joy can be found.
We can gain Mindfulness through meditation. Throw away all of your thoughts and concerns on what you may know about meditation. Mindful meditation is not to get you to STOP thinking.  It’s geared towards improving your concentration towards the present moment. 
How To Practice Mindful Meditation:
  1. Find a comfortable spot in your home. The less distracting the better. You can sit on the couch, a chair, a cushion or on the floor as long as you are comfortable. If sitting in a chair, be sure to have your feet on the ground or on a stool to avoid uncomfortable dangling. 
  2. Eyes can be open or closed as long as you are not distracted by what is going on around you. Avoid being in front of TV. 
  3. Focus on breathing. There is no right or wrong way to breath. Try to let it be as natural as possible. Inhale and exhale. It may feel forced at first; but again just let it happen and try not to think to much about it. 
  4. Your mind will wander. THAT IS OKAY. Again, you are not trying to get yourself to STOP thinking. Just be aware of your thoughts. Let them flow past. Sometimes you will find you get too deep into thoughts and become distracted from focusing on breathing. It is okay. Just come back to your breaths. Be patient. Frustration is normal. Try to let it go. You are practicing.
Now that you got basics, try practicing for 5 minutes each day. The more you practice, you will find the easier it is to focus and increase your meditation time. Increase to 10, 20 or 30 minutes as you feel comfortable.
Studies have shown that Mindful Meditation can decrease stress, depression/anxiety and improve concentration and focus in our daily activities. Physical pain can also decrease due to our better understanding and handling of the emotional aspect of pain. 

We all want to live a life unhindered. This is a simple practice that could benefit your mind, body and soul. Train your brain. What do you have to lose?

Breanna Curtis, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant 
Ham Lake Physical Therapy

May 17th, 2016

Posted In: General

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