By Emma Baldwin
Head of Wellbeing, Kindcody
17 November 2020
Research suggests that meditation is a life changing practice; with regular meditation preventing or reducing anxiety, depression, addiction and stress, as well as increasing immune systems, willpower, confidence, concentration and brain function. It seems like a magic formula to health, and what is truly brilliant about mindfulness meditation, is that anybody can do it.
Mindfulness meditation encourages us to take time away from the stresses and distractions of life and look inside ourselves. To allow our bodies to become comfortable and relax, and also to allow our minds to relax. Naturally, we think all of the time. Mindfulness meditation teaches us only to think about the hear and now and to switch off from unnecessary thinking. To notice what is happening to our body, tune into our inner self and rest.
The three basic parts of mindfulness meditation are our body, breath and thoughts. Typically, we would begin resting in a seated position, with our back straight, arms and legs relaxed, and our eyes open. We would position ourselves away from distraction, so no TV nearby or phone to hand. Remain still and allow yourself to simply sit in peace. Be comfortable and enjoy how your body feels, strong yet relaxed.
We then introduce the awareness of the breath. Not forcing or changing the breath, just notice it and allow it to be a focus for your mind to prevent thoughts drifting again. Notice the breath entering and leaving your body and enjoy the freedom of your breath.
Finally, we focus on our thoughts. Your mind will inevitably wander, when it does, be kind to yourself, gently bring the mind back to the present once you realise your thoughts have drifted. Mindfulness meditation is a way of training the brain. With time, you will find it easier to remain focused on the present and distractions will be fewer. However, this does not mean you are doing it wrong when your thoughts do wander. You are practising mindfulness.
Research suggests that 10-15 minutes of mindfulness meditation is equivalent to 1 hours sleep. It allows our body and mind chance to reset, and is a great way to set you up for the day. Studies also show that mindfulness meditation can improve our willpower, prevent ageing, improve relationships and can help to create a happier, healthier more confident you.