Mindfulness is a form of meditation that aids anxiety and helps those who are extremely restless and busy to gain some stillness over a certain period of time (a little easier send than done of course!).
There are many benefits to mindfulness meditation. The most prominent positive effects include improved mental flexibility, sustained focus and decreased stress levels.
My own experience with meditation started in university. My interest and practise increased after I joined a mindfulness society (known as ‘Krishna Consciousness’). A society, which prided itself on learning about the big question of ‘life’ and how important one’s existence actually is in an ever-growing materialistic world. A world in which we're told purchasing the new iPhone will make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, when rather it really seems to increase our anxiety and dramatically decrease our bank balance.
By being a part of the society, I learnt a lot about stillness and mindfulness, eventually finding myself acting as president (from 2016 to 2017). However once my time as president ended, I found my own consciousness and sense of discipline disappear as practicing meditation became less fluid and consistent.
Fast-forward to today and here I am trying to get back into meditation after several months of the dreaded ‘grey cloud’ forming above me. They say emotions affect every situation and maybe this could be the case, as from my experience, it’s certainly harder to practice stillness without your emotions intact.
Some tips that I have learnt during my time away from meditation include practicing various breathing techniques and taking a few moments out of each day where I free myself from technology. Rather than aimlessly scrolling through social media, I simply just lay down or sit down (ideally outside) in order to take in the air, nature, the birds singing etc. It’s here that I am trying an alternate meditation technique, reaching the same goal of stillness as I go along.
Some apps I have used include Headspace (available on Android and IOS) alongside Meditation Studio (available on Android and IOS). Although I have not used these apps for a while now, each one has provided me with support and aid. Whether that may be teaching me about mindfulness in more depth or even helping me with my own anxiety and sense of panic in high pressure situations.
As of now, I am trying to get back into meditation. However as much as I would like to say I have picked it up instantly, it is something that I will need to continuing training my mind in. Luckily with my key interest in stillness and the practices of mindfulness, I shall hopefully be meditating in the near future, similar to how I was when I was a part of my university mindfulness society.
What I learnt from this particular experience:
The importance of taking time out for yourself and understanding your own ‘triggers’ when it comes to practicing stillness to overcome anxiety.
Being patient with the results and understanding that reaching stillness does not happen overnight. In fact, meditation can be agonisingly frustrating (but totally worth it, I pinky-promise!).
How mindfulness apps can aid meditation and provide support in times of doubt when it comes to practicing stillness.
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