Meditation and Mindfulness in Daily Practice


You may have heard people talk about meditation or mindfulness. While these are not new concepts, we are seeing a resurgence of popularity of this and other “New Age” concepts and ideas in common society today.

Through meditation, we can lower our stress levels, get to know our past selves better, improve our focus, and also learn to be kinder to ourselves. It’s also a great way to work through stress, anxiety, or even to find some peace and relaxation through illness or health problems.

What is Meditation?

Let’s take a minute to define what meditation is. Meditation is often defined as a set of techniques designed to create or encourage a heightened state of awareness or focused attention.

It is used as a conscious-changing technique that can promote psychological well-being. Meditation isn’t about changing who you are or becoming a different person, or even a better person.

It’s about training in awareness and learning to develop a healthy sense of perspective and a deeper awareness into yourself and the world around you. It’s not about turning off your thoughts and feelings, but rather, about learning to observe them without any judgment. Over time, this will help you start to understand them better.

Here are some things to know about meditation:

  • There are many different types of meditation
  • It can be used in psychotherapy
  • It has been practiced in many cultures around the globe for thousands of years
  • Almost every religion, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism have traditions of meditative practices
  • People who practice meditation can also do so without having any particular religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Meditation can be long or short, and accomplished anywhere

Meditation is a skill that you can learn and then perfect over time with practice. Anybody can do it, and once you do, you can practice it and train it like a muscle. It will become stronger and easier to do over time.

Each time you set out to meditate, especially when you are first learning, remember that it takes practice to learn a new skill.

Here is how you can meditate:

  1. Find a nice, quiet, uninterrupted space where you feel comfortable.
  2. Take a seat (or you can stand or lie down if you prefer).
  3. Set a time limit. You can make it short in the beginning, or when pressed for time.
  4. Notice your body. How do you feel? Are you stable and comfortable?
  5. Notice your breath. Feel the sensation of your natural breaths going in and out.
  6. Take note of when your mind has wandered. Your thoughts will slip away to other things. Once they do, bring the attention back to your breath.
  7. Don’t stress over wandering. There’s no need to think you are doing it “wrong” or be upset over your wandering mind. Just notice, then redirect it back to your breathing.
  8. Always close with kindness. When you are ready to stop, or your timer goes off, you can end with gentle thoughts to your body and your emotions. Some people like to end with an intention for the day.

Mindfulness will help you work meditation into your daily life, and it can be done anywhere at any time, once you learn how. Let’s explore that more.

What is Mindfulness?

Let’s take a look at how we define the term mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment.

Basically, mindfulness is the ability to be present, to rest in the here and now. And it is the ability to be fully engaged in all of your senses, with what you are doing in the moment. Mindful eating, for example, could include chewing slowly, focusing on the smell, the taste, the texture of the food and how it feels in your mouth, the sound of the crunch, etc.

Here are some things to know about mindfulness:

  • You can do it anywhere
  • It doesn’t require any special tools
  • It’s easy!
  • The more you do it, the easier it becomes

How often do you get up to start your day and rush out of bed, rush out of your room, or rush out of your house without even thinking about how you want your day to go?

We live in such a go-go-go society, that we usually don’t take the time to stop and be intentional anymore. This is what mindfulness does for you.

You can begin your day with a mindful wakeup to help you start your day with a purpose. You could take a minute when you first wake and just sit in bed, focus on your breathing, take a minute for gratitude, or set your intention for the day.

Here are some ways you can practice mindfulness today:

  1. Stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath
  2. Take a minute to recognize your 5 senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch
  3. When eating, chew slowly and use your senses
  4. Do one thing at a time and focus on that one task
  5. Stop and think before you speak/respond
  6. Breathe for a few moments before eating
  7. Stop and count to 10
  8. Listen to your body/ hone your intuition

Now that you know more about meditation and mindfulness, you can begin to work this into your daily life as both a spiritual practice and also just a great way to keep your total mind and body healthy.

Remembering that mindfulness and meditation is a skill that anyone can learn. If it feels hard for you at first, just keep practicing. Start with small sessions. Don’t try to meditate for 20 minutes (or longer). Do one minute of stillness and see how that feels. Then work your way up to five minutes.

If it feels hard or stressful, or if you start to worry about how you’re doing it, then you’re not getting the intended benefit from it. Remember, this is for YOU.


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