Since I first started practicing mindfulness a few years ago I have seen so many benefits!! I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that it has changed my life. I’m sure that some of the changes are a result of the accident and my traumatic brain injury. The biggest changes started after I began my practice. In fact, once I started training to become a MBSR teacher I saw a major shift – for the better.
I used to be REALLY shy. Spending more time in my head, overthinking and second guessing everything. I was so busy thinking about the past and worrying about the future.
A mindfulness meditation practice helped to change all of that.
why you should start a mindfulness Practice
Why meditate? A regular meditation practice can help you achieve a clearer mind, help you to focus better and it can also help you to feel calmer. So why wouldn’t you start a mindfulness practice??
With mindfulness you learn to train your mind to focus on the present moment. With continual practice you get better at focusing your mind. When you are more focused you become more productive.
Mindfulness also increases your self-awareness. With an increase in self-awareness you start to be able to distinguish between things that you want and things that you need.
Mindfulness also helps to reduce your stress and anxiety. Being in the present moment means that you are not thinking about what is to come. That you are not worrying about things that might happen. You are not caught up in the “what ifs”. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me!! Instead of worrying about all the things that might go wrong in the future I’ve learned to focus on this moment that’s right here.
5 step guide to starting a mindfulness meditation practice
- The ideal time to meditate is first thing in the morning or early evening. Really though, it’s best to choose a time that fits in with your schedule. Play around with different times until you find the one that works best for you.
- Find a comfortable upright seated position where you can remain attentive and alert. This can be on the couch, a cushion on the floor or even seated on the bus/subway as you commute to work. Close your eyes if that feels right for you or maintain a soft gaze where you aren’t really looking at anything.
- Begin by focusing on your breath. Just noticing where you feel the breath the strongest in your body. The nose, the stomach, wherever you notice it. Maybe one nostril vs another. Or maybe you notice the breath the strongest in the rising and falling of the stomach.
- When you become distracted by sounds or thoughts just notice without judging. Don’t push them away or latch onto them. Just observe and come back to the breath.
- As you come to the end of your meditation start to allow the sounds of the room to come into your awareness. Come back to the chair or cushion you are sitting on by noticing the back of the chair against your legs. Or the feel of the cushion under your bottom. When you are ready open your eyes as you come back to the room.
The best part of a mindfulness practice? You can do it from anywhere. Once you start on the cushion you can take your practice and extend it to other areas of your life.
To learn more about mindfulness sign up for my free mindfulness course below: