Are you stressed?
Do you often find yourself trapped in your own head, worrying about silly details that end up being meaningless anyway?
Well, a meditation practice that has been around for millennia may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
In fact, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn brought mindfulness meditation into the Western world in the late 1970’s and used it as a treatment for rising stress levels in the work force. His program is called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and has been practiced and scientifically studied ever since.
Jon Kabat Zinn’s work is probably the reason why you have heard the term “mindfulness”! His MBSR program is taught worldwide, and is incredibly helpful for anyone who wants to reduce the amount of stress in their lives.
WHERE DOES MEDITATION BEGIN?
Meditation is a practice that’s been around for millennia! The truth is that we don't have an exact date for the beginnings of mindfulness meditation, but we can attribute its start to several different sources:
a portion of the Hindu scripture which discusses yoga practices as well as Vedic meditations and is possibly the oldest source;
the Buddhist concept of Sati
translated as mindfulness, which is the first step towards enlightenment in the Buddhist philosophy;
and Jon Kabat-Zinn
a teacher at the University of Massachusetts who is credited with first bringing mindfulness meditation into the US.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of consciously focusing on the present moment rather than your worries over what your kid brought to school for lunch, or what deadlines need to be met at work.
Mindfulness allows you to take inventory of what is causing you stress during your day so you can either flip the mental switch on things that don’t need to be stressed about or know what you need to target and tackle during the rest of your day.
Try it with me right now.
1. Sit somewhere comfortable and quiet either sitting on a chair or on a cushion on the floor.
2. Pay attention to the way your body feels as you sit, getting a sense of gravity pulling you into the support of the chair, or cushion.
3. Bring awareness to your breath, the way it feels as it comes in through your nose and out through your mouth, or in your lungs, or your belly. Nothing to change…simply noticing
4. One of the biggest tenets of mindfulness meditation is to not judge whether a wandering thought is good or bad, but to take note of it and to let it go. Gently, kindly, bring your attention back to your breath.
5. If a thought carries you away… remember not to judge yourself #1 you’re just starting, and #2 it happens, you’re human. Refocus on your breathing.
6. Slowly open your eyes…if they were closed…and go on with your day!
LET’S KEEP THE CALM GOING!
At Lotus Heart Mindfulness I believe that mindfulness meditation should be a central practice to the workday, or any day.
If you are looking for a meditation class in Tampa, there’s no place better to start than with my mindfulness workshop for stress reduction.
If you aren’t in the Tampa Bay area I offer plenty of online meditation classes, as well as mindfulness meditation online classes for 30 or 60 minutes.
I offer corporate meditation classes for those struggling to reduce stress in the workplace, as well as promote company morale.
If you aren’t already sold have a look at a few scientific studies that have shown positive links between mental health, stress reduction, increased focus, and mindfulness meditation here: