There are plenty of methods that can be used to practice mindfulness, but the main goal of every technique available is to achieve focused relaxation, and state of alert where you deliberately pay attention to your sensations and thoughts, without judging them. Such state allows your mind to be focused on present moment and make best decisions. Mindfulness techniques that you can practice are very similar to that of meditation.
Basic mindfulness technique
Take a sit in a comfortable position and concentrate either on a ‘mantra’ (a word that you will silently repeat) or on your breathing. As you do so, let your thoughts flow freely, release them as they come to you without any judgement and focus on your mantra or your breathing.
There are different body sensations that you may experience as you practice– such as tingling or itching. Notice them without focus and judgement and simply let them pass. Try to give attention to each part of your body, starting from the top of the head to toes.
If you feel any other sensations – touch, smell, taste, sound or sight – notice them and recognize them as touch, smell taste, etc. Then simply let them go, without any judgement.
As you practice basic mindfulness technique, you should be aware of your current emotions, allowing them to be present and recognizing each of them as what they are – be it anger, joy, frustration, etc, without judgement. Simply feel their presence and let them go.
If you feel surfacing of any urges or any cravings (for addictive behaviors or substances), notice them, cope with them and allow them to naturally pass. Notice how your body reacts to the specific craving, and try to replace the wish for the urge to disappear with the certainty that it will eventually subside.
Mindful meditation technique
Mindful meditation technique is a method that revolves around systematic focusing of your attention. You can progress through this technique by either following instructions given on tape or in books, or use support from actual instructor who can help you keep your motivation high and answer any questions that you may have.
People with medical conditions may prefer programs that are primarily medically oriented and incorporate meditation in addition. You may inquire your hospital or physician about local groups they recommend. Meditation instructions costs are increasingly covered by insurance companies.
How to get started on your own
There are several mindful meditation technique that involve concentration. This means that you keep your focus on either a repetition of a phrase, or on the breathing sensation, while you allow thoughts to come and go, without clinging to any. Mindful meditation techniques that are based on concentration, in addition to yoga or tai-chi practices, are very useful in reducing the effects of stress on one’s body.
With this type of meditation the only important thing to remember is to go with the flow. Once you establish the focus on your breathing or mantra, monitor the flow of your sensations, emotions and inner thoughts, without labeling them as bad or good. Simply acknowledge them as they are and as they pass.
Make certain to notice external sensations, without focusing on them – simply notice their presence. Those can be sights, touch, sounds, or anything else that makes your experience at that moment. The challenge of this practice is to what these sensations come and go without clinging to any of them in particular, and eventually become accustomed with how your mind works and which mental habits produce feelings of suffering and which of well-being. Over time, as you become more and more comfortable with what you feel at any given moment, it gives you a key to self-awareness and understanding of different experiences that you will live through.
Key to mindfulness is – acceptance
With these techniques you are basically training your mind to accept all the different sensations, thoughts and emotions that may arise in your awareness at any given moment. It teaches you to be forgiving and kind toward yourself first, and consequently toward other people, while maintaining wide understanding of everything that happens around you.
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