When you think of mindfulness, imagine a time of quiet tranquility and peace. There is a growing body of evidence in the fields of neuroscience and clinical medicine today that practicing mindfulness provides a transformative power to heal the mind and body. When you reach a state of being fully present in the moment, without thinking about or imagining you are someplace else, you will tap into deep inner resources that produce a sense of calm and heightened well-being. According to the latest research, practicing mindfulness improves your immune function, which strengthens the body’s resistance to illnesses. Additionally, it reduces stress and hypertension; helps increase concentration and focus; elevates self-awareness and the ability to regulate emotional states; and raises your self-esteem.
To begin practicing mindful meditation, sit comfortably in a quiet place for 5-10 minutes, preferably in the morning when your mind is fresh and alert. Close your eyes and begin taking slow, deep breaths. For the next few minutes just sit and focus on your breathing. As you find yourself becoming distracted with thoughts, don’t try to push them out, just gently bring your focus back to your breath. With practice the gaps of silence between your thoughts will lengthen and you will be able to hold it for longer periods of time. You will start to feel calmer and more relaxed in your daily activities as your body and mind begin to reach optimal states of health and well-being.