Numerous meditative practices have their roots in Eastern traditions, and meditation has a long history dating back thousands of years. The term "meditation" refers to several techniques that integrate the mind and body, calm the mind, and improve general well-being. Some forms of meditation require the practitioner to keep their attention fixed on a specific feeling, such as breathing, a sound, a picture, or a mantra, which is a word or phrase that is repeatedly repeated. The practice of mindfulness, which entails keeping attention or awareness of the present moment without passing judgment, is one of the other types of meditation.
Programs that promote mindfulness or meditation may incorporate additional activities into the practices. A program that teaches mindful meditation, like mindfulness-based stress reduction, also incorporates discussion sessions and other techniques to assist participants in applying what they have learned to stressful situations. Cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness techniques also includes elements of cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Become at ease:
Find a peaceful, cozy location. With your head, neck, and back upright but not rigid, sit in a chair or on the floor. Wearing loose, comfortable attire will also help you concentrate.
A dress code is not necessary, however, as this practice can be performed anywhere for any length of time.
- Think of a timer:
Even while it's not required, a timer (ideally with a soft, gentle alarm) can help you concentrate on your meditation and lose track of time, removing any potential distractions.
It can also make sure you aren't meditating for an excessive amount of time because many people lose track of time while doing it. Don't forget to give yourself some time after meditation to wake up and slowly stand up.
- Observe your breathing:
Become attentive to the sensation of air entering and leaving your body while you breathe. As the air passes through and out of your nostrils, you'll feel your belly rise and fall. Pay attention to how the temperature changes between the inhaled and expelled breath.
Consequences of mindfulness meditation
Your physical and mental health will improve from regular mindfulness meditation practice. A few of these are:
- Reducing stress
It has been demonstrated that healthy people who practice mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), a standardized therapeutic approach to meditation, experience fewer signs and symptoms of stress.1 Anxiety, sadness, and chronic pain are just a few of the physical and mental illnesses for which the practice has been proven to be helpful.
- Improved sleep
Research has suggested that engaging in mindfulness meditation can help with sleep quality and may even be effective in treating some sleep disorders. According to a 2019 study, mindfulness meditation dramatically increased the quality of sleep.
- Increased immunity
According to research, practicing mindfulness may increase your body's resistance to illness. In one study, the effects of exercise and mindfulness on immune function were examined.3 They discovered that participants in an eight-week mindfulness program improved their immune systems more than those in the exercise group
- Lower heart rate
Studies show that mindfulness may be good for your heart, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In one study, participants had a choice of joining an online program for mindfulness meditation or being placed on a waiting list for conventional heart disease treatment.2 Participants in mindfulness meditation demonstrated considerably reduced heart rates and improved cardiovascular performance.
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