Meditation has been shown to improve many executive functioning skills such as, attention, focus, memory, and concentration. It is also shown to improve mood and enhance enjoyment in life. It also remediates symptoms of anxiety and depression. So it seems it would be a good thing to try, right?
Many people begin to meditate and find it extremely difficult. They may think that meditation requires a special place and requires the practitioner to completely empty their mind.
The mind is not set up to be completely empty, rather, the focus of meditation is to calm the mind and attend to the breath.
Sometimes we attend to a single point of focus, like a candle, a word (mantra), the breath or an intention. We can also focus on the body and the sensations we are experiencing.
As far as needing a special place for meditation, or a certain amount of time, it is really dependent on what makes YOU comfortable. You could sit or lie down; it should be place that you find comfortable, supporting your body in a way that works for you. I personally like to surround myself with windows so I can look out and see the nature around me; but you could have a candle, an inspirational picture, a fountain, or plants and flowers. You can meditate for 5 minutes and work your way up to 30 or 45 minutes. Sometimes when I find it hard to concentrate I have inspirational readings and books that seem to bring me to a quieter place. Once you begin your practice, you will discover what works for you. That is the important part!
Mindful Meditation is sitting in awareness of your current state of being, in a non-judgmental way.
This means attending to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations by bringing them to awareness. Observing them, being curious about them, and then returning to the breath, or the single point of focus. This creates distance between you and the thought. It also ties you back to your body.
We often are so involved in our thoughts, that it takes us away from the present moment. The trick is to come back to the moment, to the breath, because this is where happiness resides.
Then, over time, become aware that our thoughts and emotions don’t last forever, and they don’t define us.
In stillness, we also uncover what is beneath an emotion, perhaps beneath anger is hurt, or unfulfilled desire.
Awareness can be freeing.
I welcome you to join in meditation with me and offer these free audio meditations, as well as printed versions if you would like to record them yourself.
I wish you Peace and Happiness,