Micro-Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness means being aware, to focus your attention on what is talking place right now, fully and completely. It means to live in the moment, not to judge the moment but to see each moment as a new beginning, a new opportunity to start over, to tune in, and to reconnect.

Practicing mindfulness involves stopping all the “doing” in your life and relax into the present without trying to fill it up with anything. The goal is to purposefully allow your body and mind to come to rest in the moment, no matter what is “on” your mind or how your body feels. This means allowing yourself to be in the moment with things exactly as they are, without trying to change anything.

You need to practise mindfulness in order to reap its many benefits such as learning to make time for yourself, increase self-awareness, and learning how to let go of thoughts and not being caught-up and controlled by them. The more systematically and regularly you practice, the more the power of mindfulness will grow and more of its benefits will be experienced.

Meditation is an excellent way to practice mindfulness. Mediation involves trying to control your focus and direction of your attention. It is the process of observing the body and mind intentionally, of letting your experiences unfold from moment to moment and accepting them as they are. By anchoring awareness in the body, such as your breathing, it is possible to maintain a connection to the present moment and preventing the mind from wandering.

Research has revealed that meditation can actually rewire the brain and generally improve health by increasing one’s mental acuity, reducing blood pressure and improving the immune system. However, science has not yet determined how much meditation is optimal and what length and frequency of practice is required to achieve results.

Most of us associate meditation as the formal practice of lying down or sitting on the ground with our legs crossed, eyes closed, focusing on our breathing for 10 to 60 minutes of more. However, finding the time and an isolated place to practice is often difficult if not impossible in our busy lives. As a consequence, many people are turning to micro-meditation – short burst of meditation incorporated throughout the day – as a way to try to achieve beneficial effects of mindfulness meditation.

Micro-meditation can be done anywhere for as briefly as a few seconds. It helps to use triggers such as a geographic landmark or red traffic light if you are driving, or a phone ringing if you are in the office. When your trigger presents itself, take a couple of deep breaths and refocus your mind to the present just like you would in a formal mediation practise. During these brief few seconds bring your awareness to your surroundings and how you feel, “right here, right now.” The goal, similar to formal meditation, is to help slow your fast pace life which will help you provide measured responses to situations, instead of knee-jerk reactions.

Though micro-meditation is convenient and quick, does it have the same effects/benefits as traditional mindfulness meditation? Authorities in the area of mindfulness suggest that small bits of meditation are better than none at all and that the more experienced you are at formal meditation the more effective micro-medication will be. An analogy that has been used is doing micro-meditation without longer formal meditation is like leading an active life (ie- walking instead of driving) but not actually working out. In terms of getting into shape and receiving the full benefits of mindfulness meditation, micro-meditation alone just won’t accomplish it and formal meditation is necessary.

In Summary, similar to exercise and fitness, there appears to be no short cut to achieving the profound and long-term results that mindfulness meditation can offer. However, just like exercise, small frequent micro-mediation periods are better than none at all. Identify triggers that you can use in your daily life, focus on your breathing when these trigger appear and judge for yourself whether micro-medication helps you have better control over your hectic and demanding life.

Practising Micro-Mindfulness Meditation:

During any daily activity, just pay attention to what you are doing when you are doing it. For example, if you are brushing your teeth, pay attention to what it is like to squeeze the tube, tasting the toothpaste, the movement of your hand, bristles on your teeth. Focus on your breathing as you brush your teeth. The goal is for you to bring awareness to your surroundings and how you feel at that moment, to slow things down, to be in control of the moment.

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