What is Mindfulness? - Astrology Daily

What is Mindfulness?

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Mindfulness has become the latest buzzword. It’s the ability to be completely and fully present in the moment. Being mindful comes with its benefits as it can increase your level of focus, decrease stress and feelings of sadness, and can lead to overall happiness. Many wonder how to reap the benefits of living a more mindful life and ask how mindful meditation practices can be integrated into their daily routines. Below are a few things to get you started.

What’s the Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation?

One of the most confusing aspects of mindfulness is the fact that it’s not just a temporary, fleeting state of mind, but instead it’s a way of living. It is the ability to remember, and then step back into the present moment no matter the situation. It’s not the goal to completely rid one’s life of difficulties or eliminate stress altogether, but instead raise awareness of emotions and thoughts that come up due to those difficult situations. By being aware, we can choose how to best react and face these challenges. Meditation is the place where mindfulness is cultivated and we meditate to learn how to stay grounded, bring ourselves back to the present moment, and develop a healthy habit.

How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work?

It’s not just our mindset and perspective that changes when we practice mindfulness meditation, but the actual shape of our brains changes too. Neuroimaging has shown that after 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation we end up rewiring our brains to think positive thoughts. Mediation decreases connections to the medial prefrontal cortex also known as the “me center,” and traits such as stress, anxiety, and fear are reduced. New pathways are also formed to improve the decision-making parts of our brain, as well as improve our focus.

Cultivate Mindfulness With These Eight Techniques

See which one of these techniques works best for you. They’re popular mindfulness techniques that can help you on your way to being more present in your life.

Focused Attention:  Breath is the anchor in this meditation technique. It’s also the most common kind of meditation. Whenever your mind starts to wander, bring it back to your breath, and focus on the inhale/exhale, the rise and fall of your chest.

Body Scan: Scan your body from head to toe. Become aware of any discomfort, aches, or pains, and sensations that are present. This can indicate anxiety and stress.

Noting: When you become distracted, take a mental note. This helps us to learn more about our tendencies, habits, and conditioning.

Loving Kindness: Focusing on the images of different people, such as people we don’t know, people we do, people we like, and those we don’t. By doing this we can direct goodwill first to ourselves, then, to others. This will help our mood.

Skillful Compassion: Similar to the loving-kindness technique, this involves focusing on a person you know and then turning your attention to the sensations you feel.

Visualization: The concept is to maintain a familiar image and focus on a person or something abstract to grab our attention.

Resting Awareness: Let the mind rest, thoughts can enter, but instead of them being a distraction to you, they eventually and simply leave.

Reflection: Simply ask yourself, “what are you grateful for?”