Mindfulness meditation is essential in reconnecting the mind and body. The psychotherapy in which this type of meditation is used is quite good in reducing and treating stress and anxiety. Its fundamental principle is focusing the attention on the present and on altering what is happening only in the present.
While the subject is not aware of the reactions produced in the body when it’s under stress, a rupture is happening on the unconscious level. These reactions take the form of thoughts, moods, and sensations. All this unbalance is leading to psychosomatic diseases. If a certain level of mindfulness is created, this disequilibrium is restored automatically.
The consequences of stress over the body
A very good example of a situation where mindfulness meditation and self-awareness is when someone is stuck in traffic. In a normal situation, the subject is not aware of the body reactions, but they still happen. The muscles being to contract, the breathing accelerates and the heart rate is increasing while the fingers start to clench the wheel. If the subject would have known about the meditation techniques, they could relax immediately and control their body. As a result, the heart rate would decrease and the muscle would relax.
Besides this situation there a million other things that could trigger stress agents, deadlines, an unpleasant conversation, a long waiting line, bills, delays and more. These factors might seem insignificant and harmless, but they lead to overstraining, migraines, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems.
While other more stressful situations that happen on a longer period of time can cause serious damage. They can lead to cardiovascular problems, cancer or psychopathological issues. This situation is frequent in the case of people who adopt an unhealthy lifestyle. Also, more and more people find refugee in smoking, abusing of substances, excessive eating or being hyperactive.
Is mindfulness meditation the solution?
Beside meditation exercises that you can do in a special place, designed for this activity, you can do a series of actions to improve your daily lifestyle and reduce stress using mindfulness meditation. Being mindful in every moment can create a calm mood, quietness, health, and efficiency.
Here is a comprehensive list of what actions can be performed daily in order to recreate the mind-body connection.
- When you wake up in the morning, don’t just jump out of the bed immediately. Give yourself at least five minutes to be aware of the mental and physical state you are experiencing. The mindfulness is happening now and here.
- It’s common that when you shower in the morning, your mind will start picking up where it left yesterday. Don’t let your mind think about tasks, deadlines or what you have to do. If you notice your mind is going on auto-pilot, bring it back in the present. Try to focus on the flow of water, the smell of the shower gel and how you feel the water flowing on your skin.
- If you live with other people, take a moment to acknowledge their presence in your life. Salute them with kindness and wish them a great day. It will make you feel good too.
- While you approach your vehicle, relax your body. Slow down your movements and be aware of yourself, don’t just get in the car and ride away.
- Try to drive slower than you usually do. Focus on your body position and movements. Also, focus on the objects, building, and colors you see while you work. Many people are so lost in thoughts that they drive their cars on auto-pilot, not even knowing how they got to work or home.
- If you must walk to work or simply to take a walk, pay attention to your steps and on the ground. Feel each step and live in the present. Also, be mindful of your breathing and your sensations, if it’s sunny, windy or calm.
- When you are working try to focus on solving one task at a time. Don’t let your mind roam free and think about other 5 tasks that need your attention. If you work like you do mindfulness meditation, you are more likely to solve more tasks than usual and feel less stressed about it. Don’t let other things distract you.
- If you can, you should eat your lunch alone, once per week. Eat slower and try to feel every aroma and texture or the food. This will also help your digestion and nutritional intake.
- During the day, scan your body and notice any pain or bad sensations you feel. Correct your posture or make a few exercises if you work at a desk, relax 10 minutes if you make a heavy work.
- Don’t hurry to get home, once your working hours end. Drive slowly and calm your breathing. Think of all the things that went well and for the one that didn’t go well think of what you learned from them.
- When you get home, scan your body and relax your muscles.
Fundamental conditions for a mindfulness meditation
Open mind: At all times, you should perceive things like you would look through the eyes of a child. Curiosity should be most important when living in a mindfulness way.
- Nonjudging attitude: You must detach and look at yourself and the world around in an objective way. The thoughts, emotions, and sensations should not be labeled as good or bad. You are only the witness of these changes and variations.
- As-it-is attitude: All the exterior and interior factors should be considered as they are.
- Less controlling attitude: Don’t try to change or block certain feelings or sensations.
- “Wise” position: Try to adopt a balanced attitude and an understanding of the events and things around you.
- Reliable opinion: Try to develop a reliable opinion about your own judgments, experience, and feelings.
- Self-empathy: You should learn to love and appreciate yourself. Mindfulness meditation is also based on the ability of loving oneself and give up on self-blaming and self-critics.
Mindfulness meditation could be one of the keys to solving the problems that affect our society nowadays. The ability to change the way your mind behaves, reacts and generate negative or positive thoughts is essential in creating a better life, but also the best version of yourself.