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Calm

Mindfulness Meditation – An Awesome Way to Calm Your Mind

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Mind racing? 
 
Overthinking everything? 
 
Can’t switch off?
 
Here is an awesome way to calm your mind.  You may have heard of the ever-growing popularity of mindfulness.  Mindfulness is a form of meditation which concentrates on being in the present moment.
 
Think about it, how much time do you spend going over the past in your mind or planning for/worrying about the future?  How often do you actually fully concentrate on being in the present moment?
 
Mindfulness meditation is one way of bringing your mind back to the present. 

Why bother? 

There is a host of evidence on the benefits of mindfulness meditation including:
 
  • Decreased stress and anxiety levels
  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Increased compassion for self and others
  • Heightened body awareness
  • Better mood and happiness
  • Improved  memory 
  • Better sleep
  • Reduced pain
  • Lower blood pressure
You may be wondering how to start.  Perhaps you are worried that you will need to sit cross-legged for an hour each day. Well, you will be happy to hear that this simply isn’t true!
 
You can start with just a couple of minutes.  You also don’t need to necessarily be sitting quietly somewhere, although this is a good way to begin. 
 

Once you have a bit of practice, you can meditate anywhere

You can use many things to bring you back to focusing on the present moment. 

For example, you could focus on your breath, sensations in your body, sounds around you, a task you are performing or something you are eating.

So in order to get you started here is a simple beginners’ guide to meditation.

beginners guide to meditation

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For the best results, try to get into the habit of doing this exercise daily and gradually increase the time. 

If you enjoy this exercise, you can find many other mindful meditation practices on the wonderful Insight Timer.
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You can also check out my more detailed meditation post 7 Different Forms Of Meditation And How To Do Them
the calm mind ebook

Recommended Reading

The Mindful Way Through Depression – Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn
 
Even though the title mentions depression, you don’t have to be suffering from this to read the book.
 
I found it to be the most comprehensive guide to mindfulness and meditation that I have ever read.
 
Comprehensive but also very easy to read.  The paperback and audio versions come with guided meditations.
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(If you are in the UK, you can get the audio version for free with an Audible 30 day trial).
 
 
Another comprehensive book based around the concept of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  MBCT has been clinically proven to be at least as effective as drugs for depression.  It is also excellent for managing symptoms of stress and anxiety.
 
(If you are now wondering what the difference between Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is, then check out this helpful article which explains).
 
The Little Book of Mindfulness – Dr Patrizia Collard
 
I found this pocket-sized book to be very easy to read.  
 
The book has lots of different exercises to try including some of the ones I have covered.  Also yoga-based stretches and physical exercises.  All the exercises in the book are short and can be completed in 5 to 10 minutes.
 
I would love to hear how you get on!
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I’m taking part in the Wellbeing Wonders linky with Becca from Beccas Blogs It Out and Emma from Sunshine and Rain.
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26 comments
  1. Flora Byrnes

    I Will try this since I get stressed so easily, thanks for sharing!

    1. Alison

      Hi Flora, it definitely helps with stress. It may take a few times to feel the full benefits but it does work 🙂

  2. Bexa

    This is such a helpful post! I do yoga daily but would love to get into meditation regularly too. There are so many benefits. Thank you for sharing your tips, starting small is such a good way to begin <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Alison

      Hi Bexa, thanks for stopping by. I think meditation and yoga have many similarities. I’m not bendy enough for yoga but I know I would be if I tried it a bit more often 🙂

  3. Kate durston

    This is a great post for easing people into the idea of meditation. I have been practising this for the last few weeks and it has really helped me focus my anxiety and manage it.
    Thank you for sharing this information I think it’s a great help.
    Kate x
    http://www.katesbeautyhome.com

  4. Vicky

    I really liked this post!! I always find it hard to mediate, so hopefully this will give me some more guidance on how it’s done 😉

    1. Alison

      Thanks Vicky, it gets easier with practice! Having said that, some days my mind wanders more than other days bit I see that as part of the experience. It doesn’t matter if each time is different. Good luck!

  5. Laura

    My mind wanders a lot and I’m guilty of letting my mind get overwhelmed with too many things at once. These are some great tips, I will definitely have to give them a try!

  6. Lee

    Mindfulness is something a would like to explore further. I have had practice mindfulness to some degree to keep myself in the present due to anxiety, but that’s the extent of it for me.

    Your post has inspired me to keep practising! I will use the beginner guide tonight. Thank you for sharing this

    1. Alison

      Glad my guide has inspired you! I would love to hear how you get on. Watch out for future posts on mindfulness and meditation 🙂

    1. Alison

      Hi Becca, yes it can really help with anxiety, that has been my main reason for making regular space for it in my life 🙂

  7. D Rajesh

    Excellent, superb article about mindfulness, actually this topic is very interesting for me , I love this , I tried but not that much consistently, surely I will try your tips

    1. Alison

      Thanks for stopping by, I am so glad you found the topic of mindfulness interesting. I will be posting more on mindfulness and meditation so be sure to pop back!

  8. Geraldine

    This is late but what a Great post Alison! I was following the directions in my seat although I wasn’t sitting on the floor! Needed this after being overwhelmed from my first day at a new job haha

    1. Alison

      Glad it helped Geraldine 🙂 you definitely don’t need to sit on the floor! I usually lie down or sit in a chair (mostly lie down if I’m honest!)

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