COVID crept in with its insidious ability to stop our external lives.  Because it required us to cease movement outside of our home, it forced inward introspection. As a result, mindfulness through meditation evoked interest from millions of people.  Hence, implementing these practices brought a feeling of power in a powerless situation.

 

The World Ceased

 

Prior to the world pause, millions of people operated on autopilot. Upon rising in the morning, their lives zoomed in fast-forward motion from one activity to the next in the blink of an eye.  At the end of the day, most people collapsed into bed with crippling exhaustion.

 

As a result of the rapid life pace, people buried thoughts, feelings, and issues deep within.  Read more about pathological busyness and COVID-related depression on my prior blog posts found here: https://tracinicolesmith.com/blog/

 

When sadness and fear unseated joy and hope, many people started researching coping mechanisms. Consequently, mindfulness through meditation practices became center stage.

 

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What is mindfulness?

 

  • Awareness of mind, body, and feelings in the moment
  • Tuning into the present versus rehashing the past or imagining the future
  • Staying neutral or being an observer of what is happening now
  • Not reactive or overwhelmed by perceptions of current environment
  • Attention training for the brain
  • Mental training to learn engagement of the present moment

 

Read more about mindfulness here:  https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356

 

In order to experience mindfulness, you must develop mindfulness practices.  Thus, the most popular practice is meditation.

 

What is meditation?

 

  • Exercises that cultivate mindfulness
  • Garnering a healthy perspective by fostering a emphasis on the present
  • Focusing on something specific, such as breathing, to keep attention on the “now”
  • Reduction of stress by purposeful presence
  • Silencing of thought process

 

Read more about meditation here:  https://www.headspace.com/meditation/meditation-for-beginners

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What are the benefits of mindfulness through meditation practices?

 

  • Stress reduction
  • Mental clarity
  • Heightened intuition
  • Increased calmness
  • Intensified joy

 

Here is a detailed guide to learn how to meditate:

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-meditate

 

Gone are the days where mindfulness and meditation are viewed as Ancient Eastern traditions.  Rather, implementation of these practices is deemed vital to restoring peace and focus to one’s own life regardless of your geographical coordinates.

 

Use it or Lose it

 

Although learning meditation practices appears to be an easy task, fostering these practices requires daily execution and repetition. Thus, you must form a daily habit into your routine.  When you allow too much time between your sessions to lapse, your mind may lose the clarity and focus it acquired through your meditations.

 

Therefore, integrating meditation into your regime on a daily basis becomes paramount for the benefits. Starting with 5 minutes a day can generate the beginning of the new pattern of behavior. Over time, the time for meditation practices can be incrementally increased until you build stamina.  Try to aim for meditation at least 20 minutes a day.

 

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Worth the investment

 

Since implementing meditation in my life, I noticed many benefit to my health and wellness.  One that is particularly beneficial is that my reactions to outside events has drastically decreased. Presently, I can witness life as an unfolding of events and simply notice how I observe and process the world without eliciting an emotional charge.  I feel my feelings.  Yet, little things that ordinarily would cause me distress no longer affect me.

 

When you react/overreact to circumstances outside of yourself, you must carry the effects of those feelings.  Constantly being angry or sad about things outside of your control diminishes your ability to be immersed in positive thoughts and feelings and the creations that come from that optimistic energy.

 

Being content with the present, joyful about my life, and at peace in my heart are my primary goals.  Through mindfulness and meditation, I am achieving my goals.

 

What are your life goals post-COVID?  To figure out next steps, start by going within through practicing mindfulness through meditation.

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