Meditation: replace the first ‘t’ with a ‘c’ and it becomes medication, which for many people it can be. Meditation is a great option for a healthier way of thinking and doing, with many fantastic benefits including stress reduction, decreased anxiety levels, and heightened self-awareness. But in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life finding the time to meditate, and do it properly, can be difficult.
If you feel you have no time to add meditation to your way of life, but want to feel less stressed, you might want to consider practising mindfulness instead.
Mindfulness is drawn from Buddhist meditation practices and enables an individual to incorporate nurturing treatment to the body and soul through simple changes to ways of thinking and doing. Mindfulness can become a natural part of your existence, thereby creating a calmer and more productive lifestyle. Who doesn’t want that?
Mindfulness practice seeks an awareness of where the body, mind, and spiritual connect from a thinking, feeling, and doing perspective.
For example, rather than rushing that delicious morsel of food without really tasting it, stop and think about the flavour. Chew the food and let your body enjoy the aroma and taste, without the race. Be mindful of your ruminating thoughts and check in to see if they are helpful or not, which will help you to be more tolerant and non-judgemental of yourself and others.
Mindfulness can be incorporated into all daily routines. You are the keeper of your thoughts and actions through nurturing all your senses.
Start with breathing. It's important to maintain an awareness of your breathing and take deep breaths in when you notice your body is tense. The body and mind cannot remain tense if you continue to breathe in a relaxing, mindful manner.
Locate a short meditation breathing exercise, you can even download an app, and practice it regularly. When in a stressful situation you can use the breathing exercise to quickly reduce your fight or flight response for a calmer you. This is called ‘evoking the relaxation response’.
The practice of mindfulness has been linked to many health benefits and may enhance your overall wellbeing. So, what’s stopping you?
Ruth Rogerson has helped support the community’s most vulnerable people for the last 10 years, starting out as a volunteer Lifeline counsellor. She is now a proud member of the Australian Association for Social Workers and teaches students who share her passion for empowering others the knowledge and skills they need to provide hope, choices and positive life outcomes for those in need.