A Newbie’s Information to Meditation and Mindfulness for Improved Psychological Well being
In addition to the benefits of meditation, you may have heard the word “mindfulness”. Maybe you are not entirely sure what is meant by this phrase and you feel like it is something for other people? If so, you couldn’t be more wrong as anyone can reap the psychological benefits of meditation.
The pace of your breathing depends on your heartbeat and blood pressure. There is a lot of physiological science behind this; When we consciously slow our breathing rate, the heart pump slows down, which negatively affects the blood pressure and the anxiety we feel.
To show you how mindfulness can help you make your 2021 a better mental health year, the experts at SupportRoom have shared everything you need to know.
Mindfulness is about learning to live in your thoughts that exist in the present moment and developing a deep awareness of your actions and behaviors
What is mindfulness
You might be wrong if you think mindfulness is about striking gongs and expressing yourself through the medium of dance, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Mindfulness is about learning to live in your thoughts that exist in the present moment and developing a deep awareness of your actions and behaviors.
You could say that mindfulness is a possibility that we have lost – the ability to become fully aware of where we are and what we are doing. Modern life bombarded us with stimuli in the form of information, education, entertainment and distraction. In short, most of us have lost our ability to be still.
The reality of modern life
Maybe you go out for the day. You are visiting a new city or walking in the country. You see something wonderful, like a fantastic sunset or a striking building. What’s your first instinct? For many of us, our immediate answer is to take a picture and share it on social media. We see this beautiful sight through a digital screen and pass the memory on to our cameras and trailers. We take the picture before we can get an idea of how we feel about it. We then move on to the next wonderful thing to capture the pixels and keep remembering them instead of the moment.
The first phase of Ujjayi Pranayama (according to BKS Iyenger) is about recognizing your breath and becoming aware of it
Depression and anxiety are higher than ever – poor mental health is the second most common illness in the UK. They have one thing in common in the need for instant gratification from the likes and comments we receive on social media with unsatisfactory results that affect our sanity. Immediate gratification is a short-lived euphoric achievement, and when the initial rush wears off we have an addictive need for more of it, it’s unsustainable.
How mindfulness and meditation can help
Mindfulness is the most natural state of being, but we need to relearn how to connect our thoughts to the present moment in order to access it. Many meditation techniques rely on the use of breath to bring us into the present moment. There is talk of “emptying the mind”, but that is almost impossible. Every single breath is unique, like every flame in a fire, it only occurs once and we learn to recognize that. There is a saying in yoga that you are not given several days, hours or minutes to live. We are prescribed a few breaths.
Mindfulness is the most natural state of being, but we need to relearn how to connect our thoughts to the present moment in order to access it
Ujjayi is breathing
The first phase of Ujjayi Pranayama (according to BKS Iyenger) is about recognizing your breath and becoming aware of it. Practice this awareness of the breath for as long as you want. Start with a minute or two and then increase the duration of your exercise.
Lie on the floor if you can and support your back with a pillow or some pillow. You can do this while sitting; When you do this, sit as upright as possible. Listen to the sound of your normal breathing and notice the sound around your nostrils, throat, and chest. Note that breathing in sounds different than breathing out. Feel the breath as it touches your sinuses. The inhalation touches the inner, lower part of the sinuses, and the exhalation touches the upper, outer surfaces of the sinuses.
As you inhale, consciously inflate both lungs equally – feel the rise of the chest and the expansion of the chest. As you exhale, consciously empty both lungs equally – feel the chest soften and gently drop. Listen to the sound of your breath and notice if it changes as you continue to practice. Strive for the same inhalation and the same exhalation. Note that the exhalation brings calm and serenity to the front of the brain, and note that the inhalation brings energy into the blood.
The only thing we can control now is this moment. So next time you are tempted to go straight to the search for your phone to capture the moment, resist it. Take a deep breath and drink it in instead.