What is Meditation and Mindfulness?
Meditation is when we learn to empty the mind of thoughts and bring peace, focus and clarity to our body and being. It’s a means to achieve mindful awareness; in other words the recognition of the present moment, exactly as it is, at any given time.
As we practice meditation, we begin to see why certain thoughts are so important to us, but we’re also able to see and release the ones that aren’t necessary as well. This leads us to a state of mindfulness—being aware in the present moment.
This becomes helpful in learning to bring balance to our own lives, in order to alleviate stress, anxiety, depression and more. We begin to realize that we aren’t our thoughts, we’re simply the producers of our thoughts.
The mind requires constant thought, interaction and external stimuli to keep it happy, similar to our own built-in computer. Meditation helps us release this negative pattern of the mind that keeps us separated from ourselves, happiness and joy, by helping us to look inward and become more in-tune with our inner voice.
This becomes crucial when we need to make important decisions for ourselves, create healthy boundaries and work within our personal or work relationships.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Meditation has the following benefits:
• Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
• Building skills to manage your stress
• Increasing self-awareness
• Focusing on the present
• Reducing negative emotions
• Increasing imagination and creativity
• Increasing patience and tolerance
According to Harvard Neuroscientist, meditation shows that long-term meditators have an larger amount of gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex. They tell us that when we’re mindful, we’re paying attention to our breathing, to sounds, to the present moment experience, and shutting cognition down.
How Can Meditation Help Release Anxiety and Stress?
By releasing these busy thoughts that keep us stuck in details, past and future, it becomes easier to let go of the emotions that often attach themselves to the thoughts, due to our past experiences.
This process can be exhausting for us physically and emotionally as the mind keeps us confused and out of focus. With meditation, we develop an entirely different thought form and teach the body to respond rather than react.
Learn more about the practice of meditation and mindfulness in our Blog.
ARC Counseling and Wellness offers a variety of ways to support your journey into Mindfulness and a Meditation practice:
- Monthly Meditation Group Meet Up
- Meditation Workshops for Adults & College Students
- Meditation & Mindfulness Retreats
- Mindfulness For Children & Parents
- Meditation & Mindfulness Trainings For Teachers & Administrators
- Corporate & Workplace Meditation Training