We are living in a very stressful era. We have a lot on our minds, from mounting threats to our global sustainability and security to individual concerns regarding health, safety, and economic well-being.
To add to the mayhem, modern technology continually brings all of our problems to the forefront of our minds, forcing our brains to remain on high alert.
You must find ways to decompress from the many stressors in your life, a means to take a “brain break,” if you will, for both your mental and physical health.
Unfortunately, too many people use drink and drugs to artificially numb themselves from their concerns, which only serves to exacerbate their problems.
A far better option is to take a “brain break,” which entails slowing down and focusing on the present moment with mindfulness.
This is a skill that anyone can learn. It only takes focusing your conscious attention on the current moment and letting go of useless thoughts and worries to achieve this.
It’s a means of connecting truly to the present moment without allowing past regrets or future anxieties to take an undue toll on your mental health.
Furthermore, a growing body of evidence-based research supports mindfulness’s direct and indirect effects.
Mindfulness meditation, according to neuroscientists, activates neurotransmitters that reduce stress and anxiety.
Anxiety disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and anxiety resulting from phobias affect almost one in every five people in the United States (intense fears).
Those who suffer from any of these mental health issues are also discovered to be predisposed to disorders of the nervous system, such as heart attacks, cancer, and various infections.
Regular mindfulness practice is the best antidote.
It stimulates the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin in the brain. All of these factors contribute to the modulation and regulation of behavior and anxiety.
Mindfulness is even better than medications, which might have negative side effects, because it efficiently reduces anxiety while also helping to prevent future stressors.
One of the many studies demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness meditation on mental health was one in which PTSD survivors were split into two groups.
The first group received psychoeducation for eight weeks, whereas the second group practiced mindfulness meditation for the same amount of time.
Researchers discovered that those who practiced mindfulness had greater results in treating PTSD.
Mindfulness is a technique for diverting attention away from a potentially dangerous stimuli and toward a more welcoming, gracious, and tranquil way of life.
Use this meditation to calm the mind and connect to present-moment awareness to start a mindfulness practice:
- Look for a peaceful spot to sit.
- Close your eyes for a moment.
- Feel yourself in the present moment.
- Take note of any sounds, thoughts, feelings, or body sensations you are experiencing.
- In your meditation, invite yourself to be present.
- Tell yourself that it’s all right to let go of everything and everyone.
- Concentrate your attention and awareness on your breathing.
- Inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
- Return your focus and awareness back to your breath at any time if your mind wanders. This will always bring you back to the present moment.
- “I am in this moment of now,” say quietly.
- “Now is all there is,” say quietly.
- “I accept this moment that I’m in,” say quietly.
- You can tell yourself this as many times as you want.
- Slowly open your eyes when you’re ready. Keep in mind that you’re still in the “now” moment, and there’s no need to rush out of it.
Transitioning out of your meditation should be done slowly.
When you feel like you need another “brain break,” go back to that inner area of peace.