Why practice mindfulness?
Wikipedia says “Large population-based research studies have indicated that the practice of mindfulness is strongly correlated with well-being and perceived health. Studies have also shown that rumination and worry contribute to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in the reduction of both rumination and worry.”
So practicing mindfulness is known to lessen stress, anxiety and improve your health. It helps us pay attention, get the most out of our lives. Speaking from personal experience, the practice has helped me become more tolerant, less judgemental and kinder in general. Mindfulness enhances memory, empathy and alleviates stress. And, it is a universal practice that has nothing to do with organised religion or dogma of any kind. It can be practiced by anyone, anytime & anywhere.
Time needed: 10 minutes.
It is recommended that you set a timer that goes off at the end of the 10 minutes.
Preparation needed: A quiet place to sit.
Step 1: Choose a comfortable position and close your eyes. Rest your hands gently on your knees or lap and keep the upper body straight, tall like a mountain. Keep your chest soft and break into a smile.
Step 2: Bring your attention to your body and rest easily. Breathe gently as you become still, bringing awareness to your breath – Observe it as it comes into your body, as it leaves your body.
Step 3: Keep your breathing-rhythm natural, don’t try to change it in any way. Just keep observing it – as it flows in and out. Follow the breath. It is easier to follow it, wherever it feels the strongest – it might be the rise and fall of your belly, the expansion and contraction of your lungs, or the warm sensation on your nostrils.
And as the practice finishes, keeping your eyes closed, gently wiggle your fingers and toes, notice how your body feels. Let me reassure you that as you continue this practice, it will feel more and more familiar. There is just one catch! Similar to exercise mindfulness involves regular practice – the longer you stick with it, the easier will it become.
On that note, bring your attention back to the room.