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What is Mindfulness Meditation and How Mindfulness Meditation Helps Reduce Stress
Mindfulness meditation is typically associated with Buddhist meditation practices, but as you'll discover meditation really can be free from any religious associations. The practice of mindfulness meditation at its core involves focusing one's mind on the present moment and observing present moment experiences as an observer.
Being Mindful Is The Process Of Being Aware Of Your Thoughts And Actions In The Now
Anyone can practice mindfulness meditation and it can be practiced anywhere. As a beginner, what people tend to notice as being beneficial is determining a comfortable place that is preferably quiet. For many people, sitting in a chair or on the floor with a straight back (lotus position like the image above). A physiological reason for doing so is to ward off sensations of drowsiness and another purpose is to reduce all movement except for one's breath. Here, with eyes closed, you can observe the sensations of your breath, the expansion of your ribs as your lungs cycle air in and out of your body, and you can observe your thoughts as they initially tend to flit from one topic to the next in a haphazard fashion...
Stress Reduction Through Mindfulness Meditation Occurs As You 'Empty the Cup...'
Eventually, with practice, and for some quicker than others if they use brainwave entrainment such as the technology included in my brainwave meditation app they can find that entering a state of just being can occur quickly.
From a personal development coaching perspective, the benefits of mindfulness meditation occur through intention even guided mindfulness meditation can be extremely beneficial for someone who is new to it. The intention can be likened to the simile of "emptying the cup..." Your conscious and unconscious mind is constantly bombarded by an infinite amount of information that your RAS (reticular activating system) filters through assigning degrees of importance based upon the context of information that you have been conditioned to sort for...
Many coaching clients have complained that one of the first things they have noticed when attempting to meditate is that they feel like a bunch of over-caffeinated, jangled nerve endings; literally buzzing sensations that are perceived throughout the body and especially in the head and ears. I refer to this as sensory-overload. Your nervous system is being bombarded by daily external stimuli and until you give your nervous system the opportunity to decompress and discard all of this stimulation, stress reduction isn't going to be that easy.
Stress reduction, from an NLP perspective, is a nominalization (freezing of a process). The process is reducing stress and the first step is to eliminate as much external stimuli as possible. This is the content that comes up when one is meditating. Observe it and let it go; returning to awareness of breath and sensation.
Eventually the internal silence will be found and this is a sign that the cup is empty. This internal silence is sweet.
Is Brainwave Entrainment Meditation Music Cheating the Meditation Experience?
When considering mindfulness meditation audio or meditation music downloads, some people may question whether or not brainwave entrainment is an additional stimuli and I liken it to a trip. If you want to do a cross country trip, you're free to walk, ride a bicycle, go by train, or bus, drive a car, or fly. Each is a different method for arriving at a destination. For some the focus is on the journey, for others the destination is the journey... I believe it is a bit of both. Brainwave entrainment can help one to arrive at a destination, and the journey always continues...