Getting the Most from Meditation and Mindfulness

How to reap the benefits of these underrated practices.

Hannah Ross
15th March 2022
Image from Unsplash @Katerina Jerabkova
In a world where stress is becoming a bigger issue for people every day, taking time out to calm the mind has never been more important. However, this is easier said than done and many people who try, find it difficult to reap the full benefits of the practice. So, how do you get the most out of mindfulness and meditation? 

The first and most important thing is to commit to the practice. Reduce chances of distraction as much as possible by going to a quiet place with few things around. It is especially important to remove your phone from the room. Meditation and mindfulness work by bringing you back to the present by not letting your mind wander to other things. Be aware of the sounds going on around you but don't let them distract you from the exercise. You must accept what is happening in the present but not allow it to have adverse effects on you. 

Breathing is an essential component of any practice. Focusing on the breath allows you to stay in the moment. Counting the inhales and exhales is helpful if you know that naturally focusing on it is difficult for you. Make sure to take deep breaths that fill the entire body, not shallow ones. I find beginning with filling up the stomach, then the lungs, and finally the throat, is the best way to ensure this. 

It takes time to hone it and get your body used to the sensations of not constantly thinking about other things.

Don’t be frustrated if the exercise does not come naturally the first time. It takes time to hone it and get your body used to the sensations of not constantly thinking about other things. Try to practice every day even if it is only for five minutes – everyone can put aside five minutes for themselves, and the benefits are extensive compared to the small amount of time spent on it. If you have been practising for a while but still have the odd day where it is hard to focus, don't criticise yourself for it. Some days are more stressful than others and so it is harder to focus. However, regular practice helps reduce this by making you less stressed in general. 

Meditation and mindfulness are great exercises and incredibly rewarding, helping you become less stressed in life and be present in what is happening right now. Make sure to practice regularly and incorporate it into your daily routine to live an improved, happier life! 

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