The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Stressed out? Mindfulness meditation could help you cope, reframe, and reset. Here are some ways to practice it. 🧘🧠
How to Do It
What is mindfulness meditation? 55% of Americans said they experienced stress the previous day, according to a 2018 Gallup report. In mindfulness meditation broadly speaking there's two types. There is concentration and contemplation. It consists in focusing the mind on experiences such as emotions, thoughts, and sensations. Mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a Harvard Medical School study.
“So, mindfulness meditation is a practice where we are alleviating ourselves of the need to do anything. When we think of a concentration practice it's noticing where the awareness is. So, let's say in meditation We notice that we're thinking thoughts. We want to take the awareness from the thoughts and place them on a specific object. So, we're concentrating. And in most cases that object is the breath. Sometimes we'll place it on a mantra, on sound, on the body. Contemplation is when we take the awareness and we engage with thoughts or emotions. We have practices that are meant to cultivate what's called loving kindness, or compassion practices for gratitude, for intentions, for working with strong emotions. Just noticing any thoughts. And what these thoughts might look like when we sit down to practice is resistance. Resistance might be a voicing… This feels unnatural, this feels uncomfortable. When we think of mindfulness meditation it can have a spiritual component, but it doesn't need to. When we think of mindfulness meditation more often it's secular. It's not a part of a religious tradition,” states Neil D’Astolfo - Meditation instructor - M N D F L.
There's no law that says you must be sitting on a cushion in a quiet room to practice mindfulness, says Hanley. Mindfulness mediation is one technique, but daily life provides plenty of opportunities to practice.