It’s an Important Time to be Mindful
To be mindful is to be more centred on the here and now. And, to stay in the moment means the ability to reduce stress in this modern era of increased work commitments and time scarcity. It is beneficial for the whole spectrum of society. Students need to take some time out from their assignments, recharging rather than procrastinating. But, practising mindfulness in yoga or meditation is also an important tool for the employed, and anybody with a busy schedule.
There are many easy routes to learn these practices. In the case of meditation, there are many apps which can help guide first-timers. This includes Headspace, Insight Timer and Calm. These provide audios to introduce anyone to mindfulness in meditation. And, for yoga, there are many apps too. YouTube is also a useful source for instructional and relaxation videos.
Mindfulness can be a great tool for reducing screen time. Oftentimes it is impossible to spend any downtime without regularly checking a device of some kind. Waiting in a queue, ‘chilling out’ on the sofa, there are endless scenarios of mindless phone checking. By implementing yoga or meditation it is possible to be more aware of when the urge to reach for the device occurs. Does it occur more when stressed? Is it more in the evenings? It is useful to notice these patterns of behaviour, since it may reveal some larger issues.
These larger issues may present themselves in anxiety and depression and the accompanying symptoms. Yoga and meditation won’t serve as a cure-all here. Indeed, it may take a while of sustained practice to see any major results. However, whilst performing yoga or meditation properly, there should be no emphasis on the effectiveness of the exercise. Furthermore, after completing an exercise, there should still at the very least be a therapeutic effect.
In the long term though, it is possible to reconfigure the brain and its reactions to stimuli and thoughts. This doesn’t mean a person will suddenly become immune to all feelings. Instead, mindfulness teaches people to be able to simply “note” what arises in their mind. In this way, it fosters the ability to perceive how thoughts and feelings arise in the mind, how they are temporary and will pass, whether good or bad.
Meditation and yoga can be good physical exercise too. Both are founded on the importance of deep breathing. Yoga is great for engaging the entire body, stretching out and working out all the musculature and there are no shortage of classes to attend in major cities such as London and Birmingham, UK. Meditation can be performed dynamically too. This could just be in the form of a walk, for example. However, there are many other forms which involve moving the body and energising both body and mind.
Mindfulness is accessible for all. There is no need to be of any kind of faith. Everybody can benefit from moving more and being more attuned to their thought patterns. It is a great way to perform self-care and take some time out. Spending 20 minutes every day practising some form of mindfulness in either meditation or yoga could be a great benefit to many people.