As human beings, we have millions of thoughts wandering around our brains at any given time. Work, family, friends, pets, to do lists, emotions: all vying for our attention. Some call it the voices inside our head. Some of these thoughts and emotions can be distracting. It’s not always easy to stay focused. How do we soften the mind? How do we stay present?
Mindfulness and Meditation are two ways to help improve your mental clarity and stay present. Many of us have a hard time sitting with our thoughts. Finding time for you and no one else. Allowing yourself to find a quiet space and do a meditation practice. Meditation can be defined as a practice that focuses on a sound, breath, movement, or visualization in order to bring awareness to the present moment. My yoga practice has taught me how to use a mantra to aide my concentration and focus my breath. This allows you to get deeper into a meditation practice. Will thoughts bubble up? Absolutely, we are human. The practice of meditation is different for each person. Some people can easily let their thoughts soften and stay the course. Others struggle, even one minute can feel like an eternity. It’s called a practice for a reason. Some days will be easier than others. We all need a break from our thoughts. Meditation can help reduce stress, promote relaxation and enhance personal and spiritual growth. Who doesn’t want to feel these benefits? If you’ve never tried a meditation practice, find a quiet space, sit comfortably and use this mantra...breathe in love and exhale hate. Feel your body and notice how long you stay in the meditation. Baby steps may lead you into a place of relaxation.
Mindfulness is another way to stay focused and be present. Mindfulness is about bringing your awareness into the present moment by noticing and accepting what is happening right now without judgement or reaction. In yoga, we talk about being present on your mat. We can’t change the past and we don’t know what the future has in store for us. We know what is happening now in the present moment. We all have a pose that can be challenging. Instead of feeling agitated or frustrated, notice the sensations in your body. Remind yourself that like everything in life, this pose will not last forever. Appreciate the sweetness of the moment, bring your awareness back to your breath, and feel gratitude. Now take this thought process off the mat and apply it to your daily routine. Imagine listening to your body and mind. We all try to push through pain and discomfort. What if you gave yourself permission to rest? What if you scheduled time for yourself? What if you lay down on the ground and take a full body assessment? Noticing where you are holding tension. Noticing the sensations in your tongue, fingertips, and hip bones. This practice will translate into your everyday life by being more aware and present which hopefully will allow you to not only understand yourself better but maybe be more understanding to your fellow human beings.
Take some time to practice Meditation and Mindfulness and let me know how it goes!