Guest Blog: Create Mini Moments of Mindfulness by EveryDay Health
Create Mini Moments of Mindfulness
Get all the benefits of meditation in short spurts with these simple tips.
Mindfulness techniques, which empower people to stay in the moment and stop their minds from wandering, have been used for thousands of years to promote spiritual growth and mental health. When your brain is in a state of mindful meditation, the parts of the brain that minimize distraction and promote awareness are stimulated. Over time, meditation can actually change the way your brain functions to promote relaxation, creativity, and more.
To reap these and other benefits, you don’t need to meditate for hours every day. Instead, you can incorporate quick meditations into your daily life.
Easy Meditation, Big Benefits
In one study, 45 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation helped participants suppress irrelevant information and focus. The specific mindfulness technique used is called mindfulness-based stress reduction, researchers reported in the journal Brain.
Some other benefits of integrating quick meditation into your day may include:
- Improved relaxation
- Better concentration
- More creativity and energy
- Less stress, anxiety, and depression
- Less long-term pain
- Better resistance to infections
And the list continues to grow. In another study, this one published in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, researchers used MRI imaging to compare the brains of people who used mindfulness meditation CDs at home for eight weeks and a group who didn’t. The researchers found that mindfulness meditation causes growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, learning, and emotional control.
Quick Meditation and Mindfulness Techniques
You can get the benefits of mindfulness meditation by spending just a few minutes in a quiet room with a guided meditation CD. You can also learn to incorporate quick meditation into your daily routine. All you need is a quiet place, a comfortable posture, and the right attitude. Try these relaxation tips — even spending just one minute doing them can bring benefits:
- Follow your breath. One of the most common ways to achieve mindfulness is to concentrate on your breathing. As you breath in and out, let your mind relax and concentrate from moment to moment, only on the present.
- Open your mind. An open or non-judgmental mind is a mindful mind. It means letting your thoughts come and go without judging them or following them. You recognize a thought or a feeling as if from a distance and just let it go.
- Use a mantra. A mantra is one or more meaningful words that you repeat over and over in your head to help focus your mind. A mantra can be combined with focused breathing.
- Mindful eating. The average American spends just over one hour eating every day. Eating can be an opportunity for mindfulness. Mindful eating has been shown to be good for your mind and your digestion. As you eat, concentrate on the smell and taste of the food. Be grateful for all the people who worked to put food on your plate. Be present in the moment as you take each bite and experience your meal.
Mindfulness techniques do not have to involve long hours of concentrated meditation. Being present from moment to moment is valuable at any time. Just as you learn to eat mindfully, you can learn to live mindfully, so that even waiting in line at the grocery store can be an opportunity for some quick meditation.
Mindfulness meditation techniques are part of an ancient spiritual tradition, one that about 20 million Americans use for problems like anxiety, depression, pain, stress, and trouble sleeping. To learn more about mindfulness meditation, check out the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine’s introduction to meditation.
Link to article: http://bit.ly/YpW9MK
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Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!