Simple Meditative Techniques For Mindful Living
What happens in your mind is as real as what happens in your life, for connection between what you think and what you see is stronger than you can imagine.
As a passive aggressor, anxiety club member, and overly ambitious human being, I always searched for grounding techniques to help me balance my mental world and the world I was living in.
I wanted to have a choice during the anxiety attacks, to have a better understanding of my passive aggressive behavior and be free in my choice of actions. I wanted to stay conscious even when it was about unconscious. I did not want to be a puppet in hands of the mental, unsolicited processes that tended to get out of control and affect my life from day to day.
I wanted to be balanced and meditation became the key to it.
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a form of spiritual and mental training that involves relaxation, focus and awareness.
Its main purpose is to observe thoughts and emotions without judgment, to bring mind from unconscious (at times intuitive) to conscious (aware) state. It also helps to develop a healthier sense of perspective and balance relationship between thought and action.
What is the connection between meditation and mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to stay fully present in the moment, being aware of the thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. In some way, mindfulness is what helps us to live the most authentic, regretless life and what contributes to our mental and spiritual growth.
To become mindful, we need a massive mind training which brings us to the door of the greatest temple there is – meditation.
Mindfulness and meditation are two sides of the balance, because one is impossible without the other.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
How to make meditation a part of your life?
For some, meditation is a habit; they pick ten minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening to stop and take a deep breath directing their attention inwards and calming the flood of thoughts and emotions.
It’s a good way to start and finish a day but if you want to live a mindful life you need more than that.
I have a few personal tricks or how I call them, daily integrated aspects of meditation, to help your mind stay as balanced as possible.
One minute every hour rule:
you don’t have to do anything but stop, take a breath and reflect on the past hour without judgment or regret. Use a minute after every hour of your day to calm your mind and relax your body. It’s a great way to train your mind to pay attention and value everything you do and think. This one minute every hour rule also helps to develop a sense of meaningfulness to your life and daily activities.
overwhelming emotions significantly affect your behavior. Breath awareness is a great technique that takes only 30 seconds, helping to get the control remote back and make a conscious decision. In a stressful situation (any situation that triggers a wild outburst of emotions), take 30 seconds to focus on each exhale and inhale, switching the focus of your attention from the blind spots of emotions to more conscious and aware state of mind.
I find this technique especially helpful during the anxiety attacks. The goal is to create an empty vacuum inside of your mind where not a single thought allowed. You just stop, mentally and physically, giving in as much emptiness inside of your head as you can only create. It is like taking a break after 100 squats. You will see clearer and notice the tension leaving each inch of your body as you go farther with this practice.
in one of his books, Paulo Coelho talked about this technique, only if I remember this correctly instead of a wristband, he mentioned a needle or something like that. The main goal of this technique is to bring your mind from the level of thoughts to the level of feelings. Take a rubber band and put it around your wrist. Each time you feel like falling into the whirlpool of thoughts or emotions, or following a pattern of behavior you want to stop, pull and then let go of the rubber band, casing a mild discomfort that will automatically bring your awareness to the present moment. This technique is amazing when dealing with brain fog or occasional fatigue.
These four simple meditative techniques train your mind to learn mindfulness and implement it in daily life. If you want to learn more about mindfulness and improve your mental health, I have two amazing books to recommend.
“Mindfulness isn't difficult. We just need to remember to do it.” —Sharon Salzber