One recent study, published in the Psychological Bulletin suggests that mindfulness-meditation practice had an overall substantial positive effect on improving psychological factors including negative personality traits, anxiety and stress.
Though not much literature is available to suggest how much time and how regularly you should practice mindful meditation to reap noticeable difference but research and reviews have some evidence. The participants in a review for mindfulness practice continued the practice for eight weeks to six months showed a noticeable reduction in anxiety, depression, and pain. It is now a genuine belief that mindfulness has the potential to reduce anxiety, depression and pain in some clinical population, therefore, clinicians should also introduce mindfulness to patients.
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However, following straight forward statements should clarify much of this misconception cloud.
1) Mindful meditation can be performed for longer stretches as well as for smaller time span like 10 minutes or 5 minutes.
2) You do not sit idly rather your brain is working in all this time. It is an active training of your mind to be present in the moment with increased awareness and notice small little details of what is going through your body.
3) It is not a very tough thing to do and does not always need you to perform body acrobatics. Simply noticing your breath coming in and out is a perfect mindful meditation practice.
4) Mindful meditation has both physical and psychological effects and makes you a better and relaxed human being.
How to be mindful?
Professor Mark Williams, a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford Mindfulness Center, says
“Even as we go about our daily lives, we can find new ways of waking up to the world around us. We can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk. All this may sound very small, but it has huge power to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we often engage day to day, and to give us new perspectives on life.”
Mindfulness involves reconnection with our body and the sensations it is going through. It means being present in the moment to notice every taste, every sight, every sound and every touch that the body goes through.
Another important aspect of mindfulness involves our thoughts and emotions in every aware moment. This does not mean controlling your mind rather it is an observation of our own mind as to how does it respond to stimuli of different sorts.
1) Sitting silently and observing breathing, thoughts and other areas of the body.
2) A series of postures with breath awareness.
3) Tai-chi. A series of slow movements with breath awareness.
Many people with anxiety usually have narrow focus usually on things that lead to stress and anxiety. Mindfulness opens up the horizons and gives access to a wide arena of awareness thus it beats anxiety and depression. It is like coming back to our true inner self and being at peace with it.
Featured Image Courtesy: Mindfulness
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