Mindfulness meditation: what it is and 4 exercises to practice it!

What is mindfulness meditation? It is likely that you have already heard of it, but do not know its meaning. It is a meditation practice that allows you to train your attention thanks to specific exercises, called "meditation" mindfulness ", which will allow you to increase your awareness.

Mindfulness meditation has made its own precepts of the Buddhist one, without however having a religious connotation, and in recent years the number of people who practice it has definitely grown ... there will be a reason! Let's find out together in a more specific way what mindfulness meditation is, how to practice it, also thanks to 4 exercises that will allow you to approach it in a simple and effective way.

What is mindfulness meditation? Here is the meaning and its history!

Let's start immediately with the meaning of the term "mindfulness": it is the translation of the word "sati", which in the Pāli language (Indian language used by Buddha for his teachings) means "awareness". It therefore refers to the mental awareness that can be developed through the practice of meditation.

Mindfulness meditation therefore derives from Buddhist teachings, but also from meditation practices linked to Zen and yoga. The model of meditation we know today was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a doctor from Massachusetts who in the 1970s took inspiration from these oriental techniques to develop a psychotherapeutic discipline that immediately took hold in the West, where "they were already in fashion. other similar disciplines such as yoga and transcendental meditation.

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What is mindfulness meditation for?

Now that we understand the meaning of mindfulness meditation, let's try to understand what the purposes of this practice are and the benefits it brings. First of all it is a technique that can be practiced by anyone, useful both in case you suffer from depression, anxiety and pathological states, and if you simply want to increase your ability to concentrate, free your mind and feel better about yourself. .

Mindfulness meditation is good for the health of our entire body: it helps to better manage pain, allowing greater control over one's body and presenting itself as a valid aid in the management of even important diseases. It also helps to regain hormonal and metabolic balance.

Brain functions also benefit from mindfulness meditation: the brain improves its ability to react and perform its functions, removing and preventing dementia problems and improving blood circulation.

As a direct consequence of this practice there is a marked improvement in mental health, avoiding problems of anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, personality disorders and addiction problems. We feel more at peace with ourselves, in spiritual balance, consequently improving our performance in every area of ​​our life.

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How is mindfulness meditation practiced?

To practice mindfulness meditation you do not need anything: it beats you to sit with your eyes closed and legs crossed on a cushion or a chair, being careful to keep your back straight, and then shift your attention to the breath, becoming aware of it.

To begin this practice, 10 minutes a day is enough: two 5-minute sessions will be fine. When you have become familiar with meditation, you can try to increase the minutes in increments of 5. There is no precise limit, it all depends on your availability of time!

As we become more proficient in the practice, by meditating consistently on a regular basis, our awareness can be extended from breathing to thoughts to feelings and actions. At that point your entire life will change!

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4 exercises to practice mindfulness meditation

Here are 4 exercises that you can practice comfortably in your home, at any time, to start mindfulness meditation and enjoy its psycho-physical benefits.

The first exercise, the basic one, is to make you aware of your breathing. Sit cross-legged on a pillow, with your back straight and begin to inhale and exhale very slowly, so that each cycle lasts at least 6 seconds.Use your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale, listening to your breath go from inside to outside and from outside to inside. Let go of your thoughts, just focus on your breath for a minute at least, focusing on the physical sensations you feel. You will immediately feel the calming and relaxing effect of this practice and you will never be able to stop!

A second exercise that you can experiment is related to listening: look for a song that you do not know or that in any case you are not familiar with and listen to it on headphones at every close. While listening to it, try not to get involved in it mentally, not to think and not to judge the genre, the artist and so on. Just listen, immerse yourself in the experience forgetting your critical ability. If you are able to concentrate on the song without having expressed a judgment you will be successful in meditative understanding.

The third exercise we recommend is the following: find 5 things about your day that you generally don't notice, be it a tactile sensation, a heard noise, a particular scent ... Anything, any detail that generally escapes you. At that point you can ask yourself about your connection with the world and your life: are you in agreement with what surrounds you? Are you really living your life to the fullest? Becoming aware of the little things and of every perception helps us to open our senses and not to lose the beauty of every moment, which usually escapes us and which instead represents the true richness of our experience in this world!

Finally, a last exercise, which consists in immersing yourself with awareness in what you are doing. If you are taking a routine action, something you always do thinking of something else like washing the dishes or vacuuming, try instead to become fully aware of what you are doing, perceiving every detail: the sound of running water. , the resistance of the carpet to aspiration, the rubber of the gloves that slips on your hands ... be present at 360 ° in what you do and this will help you to allay anxiety by realigning your body and mind. Have a good meditation!

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