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Mindfulness is a method of meditation that can be done any time, anywhere, and it is a powerful form of stress relief. It can help you cope with your emotions and uncertainty, and bring a sense of peace and calming to your life. It can help you keep a healthy lifestyle, and stay mentally fit. It can help you cope with negative or anxious thoughts, so that you can be happy and productive during trying times.

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation increases awareness of the present by focusing on your breathing, body and thoughts. With practice, this technique trains the brain to stay in the present moment and can help you accept things for what they are, without judgment. By focusing on the present and not on stressful or anxiety-driven thoughts about the past, present, or the future, mindfulness meditation can help decrease tension and improve coping with psychological health concerns. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, this practice has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression.  In addition, it also has been shown to create self-compassion.

Three Ways to Make this Practice a Routine

1. Explore different types of mindfulness practices. There are many options; do some research and find one that feels right to you.

2. Set a reminder using the calendar on your smart phone each day to make sure you carve out time in your schedule. Choose a time when you are most alert and awake.

3. Create a safe space that is quiet and free of distractions. It is important to pick a place where you feel calm and content for practicing.

Try Meditating on Your Own

If you are not sure where to begin, try these simple steps at home:

  • Sit upright on the floor or a chair, keeping your spine straight. Relax your body, with your eyes open or closed.
  • Focus on your breathing. Pay attention to each inhale and exhale.
  • Notice the different sensations that occur in your body with each breath.
  • If a distracting thought enters your mind, simply notice it and then focus back on your breathing.

You may want to start doing this meditation for two minutes a day. As you become more comfortable, consider adding more time to your routine. Aim to gradually move up to ten minutes a day. Every minute counts, so don't be hard on yourself if you do less. The most important thing is to be consistent. Reap the rewards of more mindful, less stressful days.

Article adapted from Lifecare.com