Given the current state of the world, it can seem like our minds are all over the place right now – not knowing what’s to come, working to stay healthy, practicing social distancing, and so on. The new modalities that come from living through a pandemic can heighten stress, anxiety, and compromise our mental well-being.
So that’s why I want to talk to you about meditation benefits, specifically, mindfulness meditation, and how you can improve your mental health while quarantined.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice in which you are able to completely slow down the chatter in your brain, let go of worries, calm your body, and surrender your mind to being fully present. When you commit to this type of practice, over time, you will learn how to ride the ups and downs of life, leading to a happier life overall.
To practice mindfulness meditation, you’re first going to want to find a comfortable and quiet place where you will not be disturbed. You can sit cross-legged on the floor, upright in a chair, or if you prefer, you can even try lying down. Next, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and relax – easier said than done, right? Well, here is where you want to make your breathing your #1 focus, paying attention to every inhale and every exhale.
Finally, you want to bring in your thoughts and allow yourself to be fully present in the moment. And if during your practice, your mind starts wandering, which it likely will, it’s just a matter of letting those thoughts pass and get back to being present in your meditation.
Whether you’re already familiar with different healing or even visualization practices, adopting mindfulness meditation into your life is something that can have powerful benefits for anyone at any level. And improving your mental health during such uncertain and challenging times is something that can be achieved, and I’d like to show you how.
Reduce lingering stress and anxiety
Studies reveal that “eight in 10 Americans experience stress in their daily lives and have a hard time relaxing their bodies and calming their minds, which puts them at high risk of heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses.” These high statistics show us that now more than ever, keeping our physical and mental health in check is of utmost importance.
The region in your brain’s amygdala, known for its role in stress, has been shown to become smaller after practicing mindfulness meditation. Using moment to moment awareness allows you to appreciate and feel the sacredness of life all around you. And with that being said, you may find yourself feeling lighter, calmer, and shifting into a greater state of bliss with the ability to better regulate your emotions. Whether you commit to three minutes a day or thirty minutes a day of mindfulness meditation, incorporating this practice into your routine is just one small step you can take for improved mental stability, and reduced stress and anxiety.
Deter negative thoughts
With an influx of sometimes confusing information circulating the media right now, it may feel like bad news and negativity is all that people are talking about. And a part of improving mental health means learning how to keep those feelings of negativity at bay.
With uncertainty in the air, the uproar of the media, and health risks looming, it’s easy for the mind to wander down a really dark path. But you see, with the help of mindfulness meditation and staying fully present, you can unlock the power to actually banish the negativity that may be flooding your mind. Mindfulness helps you quickly identify those negative thoughts and even more quickly help guide you in moving beyond them.
Improve your quality of sleep
And who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep? Similar to those moments just before waking up and falling asleep, as you can imagine, mindfulness meditation works to quiet the mind, ultimately improving sleep quality. Calming your mind and releasing thoughts of negativity or worry through mindfulness instantly triggers the relaxation response in your body. And this response, in particular, happens to be the polar opposite response to stress.
Boost attention and cognitive function
Breathing also plays a big role in mindfulness meditation, so the more oxygen you get to your brain, the higher your brain function. When you focus on your breathing and fully bring your attention to the present moment, you wipe out the ability to dwell on the past or the future. This boost in cognitive function not only helps in your ability to be present while practicing mindfulness meditation but also in your attentiveness in everyday life, like at work and in your relationships.
And at this time in our lives, we are all doing the best we can to not only stay afloat during the pandemic but also maintain a sense of normalcy and calm. So if there’s a way to raise our vibrations and improve our mental health, then I’m ALL for it! So I urge you to ask yourself, how would life look if you could boost your vibrations to manifest anything you want in life?
Well, now that you’re here, I think I have something special that you’re really going to appreciate. It’s a visualization exercise that you can use to instantly amplify your creation power and boost your vibration. Taking the first step in improving your mental health starts in practicing mindfulness, and you can then top it all off by using this special exercise to start manifesting your greatest life. With the power of the mind, you can create, be, and achieve anything!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.