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Gaining Mindfulness Through Meditation
Find out how to begin the healing...
Meditation is a discipline where the mind's intent is to gain focus and concentration power, while at the same time touching a higher state of consciousness. The idea behind meditation is to relax the body and focus thoughts on one thing for a sustained period of time.
The University of Wales has found that teaching mindfulness through meditation to people suffering from depression helps them cope with the negative thoughts present in their minds by emphasizing positive attitudes and behaviors.
Depending on your experience, you may be able to meditate for a few minutes a day or for hours at a time. Focusing your thoughts like this occupies the mind, taking it away from the problems that are causing you stress. It gives your body time to relax and recover from the stresses of the day, and clear away stress-related hormones that may have built up within the body.
Here is a brief overview of how to get started with what is known as "mindful meditation."
Once you make the commitment to dedicate a few minutes each day to your mediation, you will need to establish a time and place where you will practice. This will ideally be a clutter-free and quiet area that is dimly lit, if possible.
Sit comfortably with loose-fitting clothing. Once you're comfortable, focus your thoughts on one thing such as your breath, a thought or mantra, or the beating of your heart. If you feel your thoughts start to drift away from the element of focus (they will!) don't fight the urge, but gently re-focus your thoughts.
Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth and try to be aware of the relaxation each breath radiates to your body. In the beginning, even 1 minute may seem like too much. This is especially true for individuals suffering from mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
However, with each practice, the ability to focus will increase and the benefits are amazing! Try to work your way up to 5 minutes during the first week and gradually increase until you are able to meditate for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Pretty soon, you'll start to wonder how you ever lived with out it!