5 Essential Elements of Mindfulness Meditation

addiction and traumaBy Joyce Willis, Therapist at The Meadows

Mindfulness meditation is, ideally, an effortless state of being. Practice using these five key elements of mindfulness meditation to help better regulate emotions, bring about positive changes in your mind and body, or to simply reach a state of relaxation.

1. Don’t get caught up in expectations.

Mindfulness meditation is about being aware of changes and noticing if and when they happen. Having certain expectations for your practice can actually limit your possibilities.

2. Don’t try to be mindful, just be with what is.

Mindfulness meditation is best seen as relaxation happening spontaneously. Just let yourself move into a state of being. If you try too hard to become mindful you’re using your energy on the becoming instead of just being.

3. Accept everything internally and externally

To truly experience relaxation through mindfulness all you have to do is accept whatever is happening in each moment. Begin by accepting what is happening externally in your environment—maybe you hear noises or sense movements. Accept whatever is happening internally in your mind. It’s quite natural that when we’re doing a mindfulness meditation we will have thoughts that pop up. Just notice those thoughts and acknowledge them and return back to focus. Also, notice and accept what’s happening in your body. Do you have an itch? If it feels uncomfortable go ahead and scratch it, and then release that and return back to focus. Is your belly grumbling? Gently acknowledge that, release it, and return back to focus.

Just notice, and recognize that no matter what is happening in your environment, you can still focus. Often in meditation, we focus on the breath, but it can also involve focusing on sensations in specific parts of the body.

4. Allow things to flow

Awareness in the present is not a static thing. Each and every moment is unique. Things are constantly changing. Things are constantly in a state of flux. To be within this continuous flow our awareness and our attentions must be free to move and flow. So allow awareness to flow freely from one experience in the present moment to the next experience in the present moment.

5. Be aware of your awareness.

Simply notice where your awareness is in each moment. In this experience, it is impossible to not to be present because I’m being present with whatever is before me. Every experience that we can possibly have can only happen in the here and now.

Mindfulness at The Meadows

Mindfulness Meditation is an ancient practice that involves attending to the present moment with non-judgmental acceptance. While mindfulness can be practiced during meditation, it can be practiced in everyday situations to improve emotional, mental and physical health. The Meadows incorporates mindfulness techniques and practices into many treatments, from lectures and practical exercises to its emphasis on meditation and Yoga.

While it isn’t always called “mindfulness,” much of the therapeutic work at The Meadows serves to increase mindful awareness and acceptance of various bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts that might have caused pain or suffering in the past.

The Meadows’ use of these holistic practices and ancient healing methods foster an open, curious and non-judgemental approach to life’s challenges, providing a key component to the addiction and trauma recovery process.

To learn more about The Meadows’ Mindfulness programs, call 866-424-5476.

Content Source 5 Essential Elements of Mindfulness Meditation

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