Mindful The Fuck Up!
Updated: Jan 15
Mindfulness can be considered a philosophy of life that includes the practice of meditation. Along with various relaxation techniques, its popularity is new-ish and has somewhat started to wane recently. Although many people say that they do meditate to get into this mindful state, my question is...are they though? Are they?? Are they really???
So before we even start talking about how to mindful the fuck up through meditation, we need to clarify what meditation, as in actual mindful meditation, the kind that leaves you all relaxed and tingly and ahhh is.
Mindful meditation is an intellectual activity in which one seeks to achieve a state of attention centred on a thought or feeling (happiness, tranquillity, harmony), an object (a stone), concentration itself (talk about cool, amirite), or some element of perception (touch, taste, scent). This state is recreated in the present moment and aims to free the mind of harmful thoughts.
Starting From Traditional Meditation
Certainly, in addition to mindful meditation, there is also meditation of a religious nature and then there is mediation aimed at improving health, both physical and, in more abstract terms, psychological. Its elemental principles are very similar, since the origin of meditation, with all the branches that exist today, we're developed in Eastern religions such as Buddhism.
However, we can understand Mindful meditation (I'm just going to call it Mindfulness to save you those precious milliseconds, carpe diem) as a pragmatic turn to the traditional meditation conception. In other words, Mindfulness research and practice proposals aim to improve people's quality of life in very specific terms and are not linked to a specific religion or philosophy of life.
Therefore, the practise of Mindfulness is detached from specific religious beliefs and philosophies of life; it is simply a practice that can become a tool to demonstrably improve people's quality of life, and it does!
The Scientific Approach to Mindfulness
Research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine revealed that practising mindfulness for half an hour a day relieves symptoms of disorders such as depression or anxiety. In addition, they found that focused meditation (derived from the Buddhist practice of concentration in the present ) has positive effects on pain perception. The results were validated even controlling for the placebo effect. The increase in well-being was reported to last up to half a year.
Practising Mindfulness means believing that this will improve the quality of life in certain aspects, but it does not imply believing in ideas related to dualism, spirits, the gods or life after death. That is why the term Mindfulness is often used to talk about a kind of meditation based on the principles of science. A systematized and “non-denominational” meditation version, capable of being influenced by empirical discoveries and based on tangible and “earthly” objectives.
This is important not only because it dissociates Mindfulness from religion, but also because it transforms it into a tool whose application modality is relatively well agreed and, therefore, it is possible to investigate with it from different scientific teams and anywhere in the world knowing that all people have followed the same criteria at the time to realize Mindfulness. That is, it allows comparing cases and crossing data from different investigations, as well as ensuring that all investigation teams have done the same.
How To Mindful The Fuck Up
From the different meditation techniques, different approaches are also recommended: some work exclusively on concentration, while others focus on mindfulness and self-acceptance.
What Is The Goal ?
The goal is to achieve a deep state of consciousness during the session, and several specific techniques are used to achieve this. We try to get our entire body to relax and try to ignore all a little sensations we are feeling. No sensations. No feelings. No thoughts. Just stillness.
Mindfulness manages to separate the person from their thoughts, so as to be able to recognize them and to question deeply embedded mental patterns, giving great weight to the here and now through total attention to the present moment.
When To Practice it?
Ideally, Mindfulness should be practised for half an hour a day, although it is recommended to start with shorter sessions, of no more than ten minutes, to accustom the mind to new sensations and gradually build mental states of meditation. If we go over the time at first, it is easy for us to end up frustrated by dedicating a lot of time to something that we still do not know how to do well, and we end up getting tired and abandoning this routine.
Therefore, learning to do Mindfulness may require some time of practice until we are able to meditate in almost any circumstance.
Where To Be Mindfulness?
We must try to find a place free of noise, with a temperature in which we feel comfortable. We must not forget to deactivate telephones, alarms, electronic devices and all kinds of noises and waves that can bother us or interfere with meditation. In case we put music in the background, it is important that it is relaxing and with repetitive cycles to prevent it from monopolizing our perception.
Some people prefer to do meditation outdoors, in their garden, or in a public park. It is not a bad decision, but it is important to choose a place that is not very crowded and is free of noise and distracting elements. The use of comfortable clothing will always be a positive element in the face of meditation, and it is recommended to remove your shoes and all accessories that may oppress the body.
What Position Should You Take? ;)
I was kidding with the winky face!
The position for our Mindfulness practice is simply to sit comfortably on the floor; not necessarily in the lotus position, but it is essential that the posture leaves the back at a right angle to facilitate breathing. You can use a cushion, a mat or a towel to be more comfortable.
The vertebrae should remain in a straight position, supporting the weight of the thorax, neck and head. You must keep your legs and arms relaxed without bending the spine. For example, it is a good idea to drop your arms resting on top of your hips, or simply to leave them hanging. If the position achieved creates tension in any area of the body, it will be necessary to readjust the body position.
We must concentrate our attention on our breath. Listen to it, feel it as it travels through your body. Focus on recognizing it and letting it flow through the body. As soon as all our attention is immersed in the awareness of the breath, we can continue emitting a “mantra”: a word or short phrase that, repeated constantly, induces relaxation. It is common to use the sound "ohm", or other formulas such as "I'm fine", "always here". Depending on where we are, we can emit it out loud or mentally. Try to create a relaxing mental image whilst doing this; visualizing a quiet place that produces well-being. Doesn't even have to be real, if Narnia is your happy place, walk through that closet.
We can imagine a staircase whose steps gradually bring us closer to that place, slowly counting the steps that we have covered. We can also visualize a candle and try to modify the intensity of its flame. These exercises will gradually lead us to the next one, and it will take a lot of practice to be able to focus on the specific stimuli.
ry adding Mindfulness to your routine, who knows, it might be the missing element you didn't know you needed.
This blog post is proudly sponsored by Seed but all opinions are my own. Seed are the makers of the Daily Synbiotic is a probiotic plus prebiotic, vegan and gluten-free and includes 24 clinically-studied, naturally-occurring strains, not found in yoghurt or fermented foods and beverages. If you aren’t familiar, Seed is $49.99 a month, and they offer a 30-day risk-free guarantee. Our readers can also save 20% off your first month with coupon code CYBERGUT. As a Seed affiliate, we may receive compensation, if you purchase products or services through the links provided, at no extra cost to you. This helps support the running of the blog.