In today's world, it's no secret that we're all constantly juggling a million different things. We're always checking our phones, working on projects, and running from one obligation to the next. It's easy to feel like we don't have time for anything else—especially if we want to take care of ourselves. But incorporating regular mindfulness meditation into your day is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It really works!
What is Mindfulness
According to the Oxford Dictionary, mindfulness is "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something." In other words, it is being present in the moment and paying attention to what is happening.
Whilst mindfulness has been around for centuries, it has only recently become popular in the western world; its roots go back to ancient Buddhism.
Most people think of mindfulness as a form of meditation. While mindfulness meditation is certainly one way to practice, it is not the only way. In fact, mindfulness can be practiced in any moment of your day, no matter what you are doing. Mindfulness is all about being present and aware in the moment. When you are mindful, you focus on what you are currently experiencing without attaching any judgment or opinion to it. This can be difficult at first, but with practice, it becomes easier and more natural. There are many benefits to practicing mindfulness, including improved mental health, stress relief, and greater clarity and focus.
We are all constantly inundated with stimuli from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed. From the noise of the TV or radio to the many emails and notifications that bombard our phones, it can be difficult to stay focused and present in the moment. For some, this may not be a problem, but for those who need to stay concentrated and productive throughout the day, finding ways to minimize distractions is essential.
Does your job stress you out? Do you often find yourself daydreaming about being anywhere else? If so, you're not alone. A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that approximately 30 percent of workers in the United States reported high levels of stress. While there are many things you can do to reduce stress in your life, implementing mindfulness practice in the workplace may be one of the most effective.
When we were kids if we got caught daydreaming by a teacher or parent, they’d say something like “stop daydreaming and get on with your schoolwork”, does that sound familiar? It’s probably no coincidence that for most of us childhood was not stressful in the way it is for many of us in adulthood. Allowing our adult selves to daydream is not a waste of time and could be a ‘bridge’ to becoming more mindful in our daily lives.
Imagine sitting in the sun, watching a spider weave its web, following the flight of birds across the sky, watching the ebb and flow of the ocean. Focus on these things or find things that you enjoy around you and allow your mind to wander, to detach from the task at hand, the stressful relationship, the difficulties of whatever problems you may be facing. Just be there, be in the moment.
Vacation time is only a few days each year. It’s so important to build awareness, ease of mind and appreciation for the small things for 365 days.
Memory and Creativity
A lot of people think that meditating for extended periods of time is the only way to reap the benefits of this practice. But did you know that simply taking a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence can help improve your memory and creativity?
According to a study published in the journal "Psychology and Aging," regular meditation can improve both memory and creativity. The study involved taking two groups of people, one group meditated daily for eight weeks, and the other group did not. At the end of the eight weeks, both groups were tested on their memory recall and creative thinking abilities. The group that had been meditating scored significantly higher on both tests than the group that had not been meditating. This suggests that there are significant benefits to be gained from practicing meditation regularly.
Anxiety Relief through meditation
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, or nervousness that can be mild or severe. Many people feel anxious at some point in their lives, but for some, anxiety can be a constant presence and interfere with daily life. While there are many treatments available for anxiety, meditation has been shown to be an effective way to relieve symptoms.
Another practical technique to help you control the flow of anxious thoughts is to use a weighted eye pillow, it will help you to relax and calm your mind. The weight of the eye pillow acts much in the same way as a weighted blanket, exerting very gentle acupressure to the area around the eyes and sinuses as it creates a calming effect. If you feel anxiety building in your day using a weighted eye pillow may help you.
Find a quiet space
Lie down or rest in a reclined position in the car or in a chair, wherever you feel comfortable and won’t be disturbed. Turn off your cell phone! It’s only for a few minutes BUT these are YOUR few minutes!!
Set the alarm for 10 minutes – you can return to the world when it buzzes but for now it’s just you and your breath. Peace, calmness, and ease of mind.
If you’re using a weighted eye pillow place it over both eyes take a long deep breath in as you slowly inhale then slowly exhale….. connecting with the feeling and the sound of your breath as it flows in with each inhale and out with each exhale, you may be able to visualize it flowing around and over you. Notice how it makes you feel and if your mind wanders come back to it. This can take practice be patient and be kind to yourself.
When it’s time to get up and reconnect you may be surprised how much better you feel. Take note and check in with your feelings. Now is the time to reschedule your next 10 minutes of YOU TIME. Block it out in your calendar. This is setting the intention, it’s your commitment to self-care.
Focusing on breathing is increasingly being seen as an effective and natural way to ease tension and improve mental well-being. Breath gives life, it is our very essence. We should embrace it and value it and learn to work with it. Concentrating on your breathing is a simple and effective way to embark on your meditation and mindfulness journey.
You will find supporting guided meditation sessions on breathing and similar topics on NOLAVA our new mindfulness app you’ll find download information on our website for iOs and Android phones.
If you do use a weighted eye pillow you may like to choose one with lavender to add an extra calming effect. Lavender weighted eye pillows tap into centuries old aromatherapy practices, they can also help relieve insomnia, try using one in bed at night. The Lotus Eye Pillow is available from our store. Use the code EYEPILLOW to receive your 10% discount + free shipping.
Commit to meditating each day, set an intention before each session e.g., I am going to focus on my breath, I am setting the alarm for 10 minutes or however long you can commit to.
Whether you're looking inwards or outwards this year, incorporating regular mindfulness and meditation practice into your life is one of the best gifts you could give yourself.
‘Live Your Best Life Everyday’