Mindfulness meditation has been around for thousands of years – 2,500 years to be exact. This ancient practice can be traced back to the early teachings of the Buddha. But what is mindfulness meditation? To address this question, we need to cover what mindfulness is and how to achieve it. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, meaning you are aware of where you are, what you’re doing, and not be overly reactive of what’s happening around you. Meditation is the practice of thinking deeply for a period of time (mostly in silence). There are many types of meditation practices but mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere and throughout your day.

Various well-designed studies from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. have found that mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain. While many practice mindfulness meditation alone, some found that practicing them with a group is especially helpful.

How to Practice

Start off practicing mindfulness meditation for a couple of minutes per day. You can do this before you start your day or whenever you have a few minutes to spare. You can learn how to position yourself with the tips below.

  1. Find a place where you can sit comfortably – a chair, a bench, the floor, etc. If you can’t sit, don’t worry. Find a place to stand where you will not be distracted.
  2. Straighten your upper body. Relax your head and body so they rest comfortably.
  3. Lay your hands on your side – not too tight and not too loose.
  4. Drop your chin and gaze gently downward. You can close your eyes completely or simply look down.
  5. Stay still for a few moments. It can be a minute, five, or ten minutes. Don’t pressure yourself to a certain time.
  6. Focus only on your breathing – You can mentally note “breathe in” and “breathe out.” Don’t worry if you lose your focus. Gently focus on your breathing again when you realize this happens.
  7. When you are ready, open your eyes and bring up your head. Feel your feelings and notice your thoughts and emotions. Consider this pause as a refresh to your day.

Emotional Benefits

Meditation has several emotional benefits and they vary for everyone. For some, it may help reduce anxiety and for others, it may increase patience and tolerance. One way or another, all emotional and physical benefits of meditation are positive.

Some emotional benefits include: 

  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Reducing stress and negative emotions
  • Controlling and reducing anxiety
  • Increasing imagination and creativity
  • Increasing patience and tolerance

Meditating is easier said than done. Like everything in life, practice makes a huge difference. Try practicing mindfulness meditation once a week then do it a couple of times a week and so forth. While meditation might help some people, it’s okay to need some extra help. We are here to help and speak with you about whatever you are going through. Crisis Support Services of Nevada’s resources are available to you 24/7, year-round. If you or someone you care about needs emotional support or resources in the community, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for anonymous help. Regardless of the day or time, we are ready to help you.