Mindfulness meditation – We’ve all heard about it. People say that it changes the thoughts and helps us feel better. It all sounds great, but it’s sad when it doesn’t work for you. You try to go to a calm place, but instead end up being irritated. Maybe you were focusing on your to-do list and just sat there worrying that you’re actually wasting your time.
It is indeed frustrating when you don’t achieve anything and instead, just waste the time that could be used for other activities. What if I tell you that mindfulness meditation isn’t the only way to reach inner peace? There are several people who don’t find mindfulness meditation very effective. Yes, there are articles being published about mindfulness meditation, and people claiming that it’s probably the best thing since sliced bread, but it just might not be as great as it sounds.
For example, what about the war veterans? Their trauma is so big that sitting with their eyes closed might not help them. In fact, it can provoke anxiety in some people.
So what should be done?
If you feel that sitting and doing nothing isn’t helping you, you can try some yoga-based breathing exercises. When you’re doing something (breathing in a certain way), you have something to focus on. Also, with breathing, your heart rate can slow down in just a few minutes, unlike mindfulness meditation where it takes several sessions.
And if breathing exercises aren’t doing it for you, you can try mantra-based meditation techniques or compassion meditation.
Breathing exercises would start with deep breathing. Our bodies are built that way – when we are stressed, we breathe rapidly, and when we’re relaxed, we take slow and deep breaths. When you do breathing exercises with slow breathing, you’re sending a signal to your body that everything is okay and you are relaxed. This makes your body go into the calm mode.
And in fact, once you’ve done the breathing exercise, you can also do mindfulness meditation because your mind is calm and free of anxiety. So sitting and doing nothing doesn’t seem as bad.
How to do it
To begin with meditation, you need to sop all the distractions. I find my smartphone to be the biggest distraction, so I switch it off and try to find a calm spot for myself. You can sit in whatever way you want. While most people prefer the cross-legged position, make sure you select a position that makes you comfortable. If sitting on the floor isn’t for you, you can sit on a chair. It’s important to keep your back straight, else you’ll start feeling sleepy.
You can keep your eyes semi-closed and focus on your breathing. When you become aware of your breathing, you have started the meditation process. In the beginning, your mind would be busy with thoughts. You might feel like you’re failing at meditation, but it’s best to keep going. After some time, you’ll feel relaxed – thanks to the deep breathing techniques. Repeat this process many times, and soon your mind will get used to this pattern.
If you meditate this way regularly, all the distracting thoughts will subside and you’ll feel relaxed. In this state of tranquility, your mind will feel lucid. When the waves of distracting thoughts settle down, you’ll feel relieved and will be able to see clearly. This will help you in mindfulness.
Deep breathing is just a beginning stage of meditation, but it can be very powerful. It can also open up your mind for other meditation techniques. All the tension and stress we feel every day come from our mind. If we’re able to control our mind, it can solve a lot of mental as well as physical problems.
So if you’re unable to do mindfulness meditation, make sure you start with breathing exercises. They are a great way to relax and can help you reach calmness and relaxation.
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