If you're feeling a little out of sorts, find out how a meditative practice could help you re-connect your body and mind
Meditation practice can help bridge the gap between our emotional response to events of the past and the emotions associated with the anticipation of the future - both of which strongly influence our present experience. Meditation practice can therefore be a tool for being mindful of our relation to the past and future, contemplating the effect this has on our wellbeing and how we can be more present in this moment, while not being negatively influenced by past and future experiences.
The term “meditation” refers to a variety of practices that focus on mind and body integration and are used to calm the mind and enhance overall wellbeing. Some types of meditation involve maintaining a mental focus on a particular sensation, such as breathing, a sound, a visual image, or a mantra, which is a repeated word or phrase. Other forms of meditation include the practice of mindfulness, which involves maintaining attention or awareness of the present moment without making judgments.
Meditation might be an ancient practice but its benefits for reducing stress, and improving overall mood, focus, sleep, and wellbeing transcend centuries. Meditation can help connect our emotions from the past and our eagerness for the future, and that’s why it teaches us how to become more present in life.
Living more mindfully, by focusing your attention on the present moment without judgement, is a wonderful way to ease stress and anxiety while creating a sense of peace and serenity within, that allows you to pause when agitated, and make more calm, productive choices.
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Picture this: you finally sit down to practice some meditation, but as soon as you close your eyes, however much you try to stay focused on your breathing, your mind begins to wander - to work worries, that task you forgot to do, that problem that needs solving. Sound familiar? The good news is this is completely normal - emotions and feelings that we have suppressed throughout the day often come to the surface, sometimes overwhelmingly, in moments of calm.
It's OK if your thoughts wander - at first, they almost certainly will. Over time, you will be able to observe your thoughts when meditating, but not attach to them. Daily meditation, little and often, will allow this control over your thought patterns to come more naturally and these thoughts will disturb the peace of the present moment less and less. Our meditation journey is individual to us, and it might take some of us longer to master than others, but through practice, you will discover that the journey is the important part, not the destination.
Daily meditation can help you perform better at work. Research has found that meditation helps increase your focus and attention and improves your ability to multitask. Meditation helps clear our minds and focus on the present moment, which gives us a huge burst of energy for our tasks and goals. When you can easily concentrate on one activity at a time, your self-esteem grows, which solidifies your feeling of control over the present moment. This opens you to feel fully empowered to stick to the promises and goals you set out to achieve.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to develop a heightened awareness of the present moment, detached from judgement and evaluation. Your worries and fears for the future dissolve into the background of the here and now, increasing your concentration and ability to focus on one task at a time.
Even after eight weeks of daily meditation, research has shown a 22.8% increase in the volume of the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation. Enhanced brain response time, better memory, increased cognitive powers, and a more relaxed and energy-efficient brain. Having a brain with a vastly increased ability to master the daily challenges of life prevents your thoughts from compromising your happiness and enables you to stay in the present moment.
Meditation doesn’t just change your state - the way you feel in that moment. It changes your traits - the enduring aspects of personality engraved in your brain that govern your outlook in life, which brings positive changes, to living a life of surrender and fluidity.
Meditation boosts emotional intelligence. Many of us have trouble understanding our emotions. Mindfulness meditation helps teach us how to be aware of our feelings and emotions and how to process them better, leading to a greater degree of self-regulation, making you the master of your emotions rather than being overly consumed by them. Practicing meditation changes how you think and helps you learn to understand your emotions without having to act upon them, keeping you grounded and in the present.
Among the positive traits fostered by meditation is greater resilience in the face of adversity, more sympathy for others, and increased compassion for oneself. The more you meditate, the more your idea of love evolves. Meditate and be honest with yourself about who you are. Once you know who you are, you can make peace with yourself and love yourself. You can then extend this love healthily to others who are in the same healthy state.
Remember that your intention will mobilise the force of intuition within you, so make sure your intention is clear with the sincere desire to know if you are feeling disconnected and want to reconnect to yourself. Place your hand on your heart.
Intend to connect to your true self - the self that knows who you are and why you are here - your purpose. Stay there until you feel a shift in your being with a sense of calm and ease. Allow your focus and attention to be in the now. Tap into the moment, the infinite moment that carries infinite streams of information available for you to access on all levels. Recall your intention, and take some deep healing breaths.
Sophie Elliott is a mindfulness and Reiki expert and founder of Present-Beings, the wellbeing subscription box company. Find out more at www.present-beings.com
Learn more about Reiki on Therapy Directory or to find a therapist who can help with mindfulness, visit Counselling Directory.