Have you ever sat down and felt your mind floating away and going completely blank? Maybe you found yourself focusing so intently on your breathing that all the stress, anxiety and worries of the day just disappeared. Though you might not realize it, you just practiced mindfulness meditation. This ancient practice can help you with stress and may relieve some symptoms of different medical conditions too.
How to Practice Meditation
When you first start practicing mindfulness meditation, start in a dark or dimly lit room. Sit flat on the floor or with your buttocks lightly pressed against a blanket or small pillow. Keep your back straight and your eyes focused straight ahead. Close your eyes and inhale deeply before exhaling your breath. Every time that you breathe in, focus solely on that breath and push all other thoughts from your mind. Keep your mind focused entirely on your inhaling and exhaling. Spend a minimum of 10 minutes practicing your meditation every day. Once you learn how to focus on your breathing, you can work on turning your thoughts to specific emotions or thoughts as your body deeply inhales and exhales without you expressly focusing on your breathing.
Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Depression and anxiety are two of the more serious mental conditions that Americans suffer from today. Stress, including the stress you experience at work or after a fight with your kids or spouse, can make the symptoms of your anxiety or depression worsen. Studies found that mindfulness meditation can actually reduce your stress. Meditating gives you the chance to reset your mind and focus your attention on something other than your stress. Other studies found that those with certain breathing conditions and other medical problems may experience less symptoms when relying on meditation a few times a week. Meditation has been shown to rewire neural circuitry in the brain for practitioners who meditate regularly. Try practicing mindfulness meditation at home and in your office to beat stress, anxiety and depression, or use meditation as a way to limit the symptoms you experience of certain medical conditions.