Mindfulness

A Journey of Self-Awareness

Mindfulness is a non-judgemental awareness of the present moment. It can focus on bodily sensation, feelings, and thoughts. Mindfulness is used as a therapeutic technique to balance mind and body.

Observations can be made of our state of mind. We can focus not on what is around us, but what is within us. Our mind is often overwhelmed by negative thoughts that need to not be worried about. 

Over time, mindfulness brings about change in mood and attitude towards life. Grab life as it comes and cherish it. Only we will know how we truly feel and only we can change how we feel. Our whole perspective on life may change for the better. As you are reading this you may feel mindfulness is just a waste of time. I guarantee you that you will feel 100% better if you adopt a mindful approach to life. Only you are in control of your life and only you can change the course of your life.

If you are reading this and you have reached rock bottom, then now is the time to pick yourself up and start listening to the inner you. 

I found myself becoming interested in meditation when I was completing my A-levels. The stress and tension that I carried was destroying my chances of succeeding. I was constantly lacking focus and the ability to listen. I decided to take action through meditation. I thought that if I was to practise meditation, my focus and stress levels would decrease.  I achieved 3 BTEC grades and 1 AS level. Since achieving the qualifications, I have continued my journey with meditation and I have never felt better.

Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere; at your desk, at work, in a quiet space or even in the great outdoors. Being surrounded by nature can release tension and allows you to look at the bigger picture. Just once a week take a stroll outside and observe nature. Ask yourself: how does it make your feel? Doing this exercise will make you focus on something that combats negativity and improves your mental state.

See it as a journey that is never ending. Continue on your quest to find happiness and purpose. 

Meditation is seen as a platform for people to use when they want to either find enlightenment or to improve their mental wellbeing. I believe that meditation is purposeful as it allows us to explore ourselves through many different ways. 

There are different ways in which people approach meditation. Some people see it as the concentration or focus of the mind, whereas, others refer to it as bringing a sense of peace and satisfaction. We can use meditation to interrupt thoughts that escalate in our minds and provide us with a pause. By practicing meditation, it can decrease the activity in our mind and provide a focus on the body and how we feel inside. Meditation is the ability to train our minds and focus on awareness. Anyone can meditate no matter what your life may be like.

Meditation has existed for thousands of years in many shapes and forms including yoga, walking meditation and scanning the body.

Studies have shown that meditation can have short and long term benefits. Some of the benefits can lead to lower blood pressure, improved blood circulation, lower heart rate, less perspiration, slower respiratory rate, less anxiety, lower blood cortisol levels,  feelings of well-being, less stress and deeper relaxation.

Exercise:

Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Begin to release any tension that you may be feeling. Your arms and your head may start to feel heavy. Slowly close your eyes and relax your hands. Notice what you hear around you. The chirping of the birds, or the sound of a car. How does this make you feel? Take 5 deep breaths making the exhale longer than the inhale. Focus on how the body moves with each breath. You may feel tense or “floppy.” Examine each body part: arms, shoulders, hands, legs, chest and rib cage. Notice how they move and how they feel. If you feel like your thoughts are wandering off and you start to think about something else, slowly bring your attention back to the breath.

Continue this practice for as long as you want. There is no right or wrong. Once you have grasped the idea of meditation, you could try it for longer periods of time.

Over time, you will start to feel a change in your mental state and begin a journey of self awareness.

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