Mindfulness is a technique that leads to a state of non-judgmental awareness of your present experience. A mindful individual is reflective not reactive. Emotional health can be the result of negative thoughts and behaviors. Mindfulness enables us to distance ourselves from our thoughts and feelings without placing them into categories of positive or negative. Teaching awareness for your current physical and mental state allows you to have adaptive reactions to different situations. It also encourages you to see things from a different perspective, which is a key component of New View’s philosophy on mental health.
A simple example of a mindful practice is focusing on your breath. Centering your awareness toward the feeling of your chest rising and falling. Noticing the sensations as the air as it enters and exits your nose. If your mind wanders, simply return your attention to your breath. This is what it means to focus on the present moment, here and now.
Anxiety can be triggered by prolonged stressful events in life including relationships, jobs, school, finances, or other life challenges. By focusing attention on the present moment, mindfulness counteracts rumination and worry. Mindfulness is evidence based and a researched approach to reducing anxiety and depression. It has shown to increase body awareness, focused attention, self-perception, and physical health. It can help you learn to stay with difficult feelings without analyzing, suppressing, or encouraging them. This may lead to an ability to explore underlying causes of stress and anxiety without being overwhelmed.
A quick mindfulness meditation
Start to build the foundation for your mindfulness practice with these important steps.
- Committee to a time and place.
- Find a comfortable position- Many people prefer to sit crossed legs, upright on a chair, or sitting with legs stretched out in front of you. The main thing is to get into a position that feels comfortable.
- Focus on your breath- Pay attention to your breathing. Focus on the air entering and exiting your nose. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breathing patterns. If your mind wonders, thank it for the thought and bring your attention back to your breath.
- It should be noted, that at first, mediation may increase your feelings of anxiety. Recognize these thoughts instead of trying to suppress your inner dialogues. After that, you may experience more inner peace and feel less anxious.
Starting mindfulness meditation may be a daunting task. However, perseverance and consistency will lead to more peace and you will notice a decrease in your worry and anxiety.