With each passing day, more and more of us are drawn to mindfulness meditation.
It has proven health benefits from improved sleep to lowered blood pressure to less hormones that cause stress and anxiety. But even though these are major benefits, most of us are drawn to it for its spiritual and psychological impact on us.
Mindfulness makes us better people. Since the purpose of mindfulness is to become fully aware of everything we experience, we lose our will to add negativity to our lives. This makes us calmer, less quick to anger or harm. Our jealousy decreases and our gratitude increases. We become kinder, more giving, more generous and more humble. These, among other virtues, simply make us better people. That in turn boosts our confidence and self-esteem and the circle of positivity continues.
How to Prepare for Mindfulness Meditation – Mind, Body & Soul
Life is so much easier when we are Mindful, but of course, preparing for it might not be.
Mindfulness can be so much more than a practise. It can become a lifestyle. This means, naturally, that some changes would have to be made.
You are not obligated to make any of these changes if you don’t want to, but it is recommended, as this will maximize your mindfulness.
Preparing Your Mind
Pick A Time
First thing’s first. If you really want mindfulness to make profound changes in your life and attitude, you will have to commit to it. As with any lifestyle change, for example a new diet or an exercise regime, trying it every now and then might be nice, but it won’t really benefit you.
You don’t have to meditate every chance you get, but making time for it – and being uncompromising in this – is a very important step you must take. Mindfulness meditation is great in the sense that for many of its exercises, you can do them anytime, anywhere.
Still, you will have to prioritize it.
There are some very simple techniques that can get you accustomed to what mindfulness meditation is all about. Learning as much as you can before you begin is a great way to come prepared for when you officially start practising it habitually.
Remember, you don’t have to dive right in. You can test the waters first. Chances are the waters will be great. Give it a try.
Spread the Word
The only thing better than trying new things is trying new things with a trusted companion. There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of when it comes to mindfulness meditation, but if you are intimidated, feel more relaxed around someone you trust or just need the support and validation of a companion there is nothing wrong that. It might just do that person (or people) a world of good. Don’t be shy. Tell someone about it. This will also make it easier to commit.
Preparing Your Body
Mindfulness meditation is not strenuous (quite the opposite actually!) but because it has to do with awareness and experiencing this world to the greatest of our ability, diet plays a large role in how it will benefit you. Over time, mindfulness will make you aware of all the unhealthy/ unpleasant things you consume and you will want to do away with them.
Furthermore, when practising mindfulness you will teach yourself to experience your own body. If you are unhealthy, you will definitely feel this. Not just for mindfulness but for the greater benefit of your well-being, eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise are two things that should never be overlooked.
You don’t have to make strict or drastic changes – you can ease yourself into it. To start with, try to eat and live well.
Make sure you are getting your vitamins, minerals and nutrients by eating a colorful diet. If you don’t particularly enjoy eating your fruits and vegetables, get your vitamins by drinking juices instead. Many who meditate choose not to consume animal products, but if you do, try to get your meat, dairy, seafood and poultry free range and organic. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Avoid sugars, stimulants, alcohol and carbohydrates – or at the very least try to cut down on them. A great way to practise mindfulness is to be mindful of the food you eat and prepare.
You don’t have to run a marathon. You don’t have to join a gym. Exercise at your own pace. Whether we like to admit it or not, exercise is important in health and well-being. Go for a walk every day; take the stairs instead of the elevator. Invest in a bicycle, or take a dance class. Exercise doesn’t have to strenuous, painful, or boring. Exercise not only betters the body, but it readies the mind too!
Taking a shower before you meditate is not a prerequisite, but there is something so pleasant about smelling fresh. Think of that “just showered” scent. Now, keep in mind that a lot of time spent meditating is time spent taking deep breaths and being aware of yourself and your body. Wouldn’t you much rather inhale that just showered fresh scent, than your sweaty armpits? Not only will you smell good, you will feel good too. Meditation and relaxation is all about being comfortable. What you could also try is exercising first, then showering, then meditating. Make this a routine if you please!
Preparing Your Soul
You might assume that the meditating in itself is the preparation for your spirit, and this may be true to a certain degree, but there are simple practises you can utilize that will make your meditations far more pleasant and easy.
Pour Your Heart Into It
The things we do require one (or both) of two simple things to matter: Purpose and passion. Use your job as an example. You might not be passionate about it, but you do it for a reason: to afford the cost of living.
But let’s say you’re a poet on the side. You might not write these poems with any purpose other than you enjoy writing them. That is passion and is in itself a reward.
With meditation there are many reasons why we pursue it. Maybe you are looking into mindfulness for healing, or to better manage your moods. Maybe you’d like to be more in touch with the universe or just want to feel better about yourself.
Meditation is an exercise in willpower. You can have all the purpose in the world, but if you don’t enjoy meditating you will struggle to commit to it. Put feeling into it. Get yourself excited to experience it. Look forward to your time spent alone, and record your experiences to reflect on if need be. (This is also an instance where meditating with a friend comes in handy, you can be passionate together!)
Accept Your Flaws
Maybe Meditating isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Perhaps you are easily distracted, or forgot to meditate a day or two in a row. Don’t be disappointed in yourself. If you dwell on negativity, your motivation will slowly seep away. Forgive your mistakes and learn from them rather than punishing yourself.
To yourself, to others, to the universe. Gratitude is good for the mind, body and soul- and it’s contagious too. If you express gratitude to someone else, they will be more inclined to be kind to the next person, and it will begin a chain of goodness and joy.
If that doesn’t make your soul smile, what will?
If you look at the bigger picture, you will see that these preparations are practises we should be doing every day any.
Live well, eat well and stay humble.