What is mindfulness? The 7 answers to your questions

the Mindfulness can be viewed as a philosophy of life that includes the practice of meditation. In addition to various relaxation techniques, its heyday is recent. Although a lot of people say that they practice meditation, sometimes it is a misconception, so before we talk about Mindfulness, we need to clarify what meditation is.

Meditation is an intellectual activity that seeks to achieve a state of centralized attention in a thought or feeling (happiness, tranquility, harmony), an object (a stone), real concentration or an element of perception (heartbeat, breathing , body heat) …). This state is recreated in the present moment and seeks to free the mind from harmful thoughts.

Since mindfulness has so much to do with how we use our focus, it is also called full attention.

Mindfulness: from traditional meditation

Certainly, in addition to mindfulness, there is also a religious meditation and another aimed at improving health, both physical and, in more abstract terms, psychological. Its elementary principles are very similar, like the origin of meditation, with all the branches that exist today, developed in Eastern religions like Buddhism.

However, we can understand Mindulness as a pragmatic turn to the traditional view of meditation. Which means Mindfulness Research and Practice Proposals Aim to Improve People’s Quality of Life in very specific terms, and they are not tied to any particular religion or philosophy of life. Therefore, the practice of Mindfulness is detached from concrete religious beliefs and philosophies of life; it is simply a practice that can become a tool to improve people’s quality of life in a demonstrable way.

The scientific approach to mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness means believing that it has served to improve quality of life in some ways, but it does not imply believing in ideas related to dualism, spirits, gods, or the afterlife. This is why the term Mindfulness is often used to refer to a kind of meditation based on the principles of science. A systematized and “non-denominational” version of meditation, Capable of being shaped by scientific discoveries and oriented towards concrete and “earthly” objectives.

This is important not only because it detaches Mindfulness from religion. It is also because it transforms it into a tool that the modality of application is relatively well agreed upon and that it is therefore possible to do research with it with different scientific teams and around the world knowing that everyone world has followed the same criteria for practicing Mindfulness. Which means it makes it possible to compare cases and cross-reference data from different surveys, In addition to ensuring that all research teams did the same.

This is a difficult thing to achieve when researching meditation in general, because being “an art” each person can do it differently. So while in dry meditation there are different ways of interpreting tradition, in mindfulness it is about creating a scientifically approved tool. In fact, if it has been shown to help prevent relapses of depression, it is because it is designed as a resource that must be used to intervene on specific objectives… Although there are also people who use it in their everyday life just to have this experience.

A pragmatic, goal-oriented approach

Therefore, this philosophy can be adapted to different contexts and environments, as its approach is pragmatic and does not depend on religious dogmas. And, more importantly, its popularity has meant that a library of scientific literature is being created which includes many studies that explore the potential of mindfulness in different facets: self-control in boys and girls, development of resilience and adaptation resources in sick people, improvement of objective levels of health, etc.

It is this scientific watch that has led many people to wonder: What is mindfulness? Below you can learn their main ideas and keys.

“Your body lives in the present. What about your mind?” A rhetorical question that brings us closer to the philosophy of mindfulness.

Basic Ideas on Mindfulness

The different meditation techniques also offer different approaches: some work exclusively on concentration, while others focus on mindfulness and self-acceptance.

The former might be given the generic label of mantra meditation, while the latter responds to mindfulness techniques.

1. What is mindfulness?

The goal is to get one deep state of consciousness during the session, and several specific techniques are used to achieve this. We seek to relax our consciousness and not judge our sensations, feelings or thoughts. Know what’s going on in our internal jurisdiction at all times through attentional process management.

Mindfulness manages to separate the person from their thoughts in order to recognize them and challenge mental patterns, giving great weight to the person. here and now by total attention to the present moment.

2. When to practice it?

Ideally, mindfulness should be practiced for half an hour a day, Although it is recommended to start with shorter sessions, of ten minutes maximum, to acclimatize the mind to the new sensations and gradually build mental states of meditation. If you come up with time at the beginning, it’s easy to end up getting frustrated by spending a lot of time followed by something that you don’t yet know how to do well, and you end up getting bored and abandoning this routine.

Therefore, learning to do Mindfulness may require some practice time until we are able to meditate under almost any circumstance.

3. Where to practice mindfulness?

You must try to find one quiet place, With a temperature between 18 and 25º and in which we feel comfortable. We must not forget to turn off phones, alarms, electronic devices and all kinds of noises and waves that can disturb us or interfere with meditation. In the event that we put on background music, it is important that it is relaxing and with repetitive cycles to prevent it from monopolizing our perception.

Some people prefer to meditate outdoors, in their backyard, or in a public park. It’s not a bad decision, but it’s important to choose a location that’s not too crowded and free from noise and annoying elements. the wear comfortable clothes this will always be a positive element in the face of meditation, and it is recommended to remove shoes and all accessories that can oppress the body.

4. In what position is it practiced?

The mindfulness position will simply be 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 pillow, mat, or towel to be more comfortable. If the pillow is thick enough, it will be advisable to tilt the pelvic area forward, sitting at the end.

The vertebrae must remain in an upright position, Holding the weight of the chest, neck and head. The legs and arms should remain relaxed but without destabilizing the spine. For example, it is a good idea to drop your arms resting on your hips, or just let them hang down. If the posture obtained generates tension in any area of ​​the body, it is necessary to readjust the position of the body.

5. Basic exercises

We need to focus on the breath. Listen to it, feel how the body moves … but without thinking about it. Strictly, we have to focus on recognition and let it flow through the body. As all of our attention is immersed in the awareness of the breath, we can continue to utter a “mantra”: a short word or phrase which, when repeated constantly, induces relaxation. It is common to use “Ohm” sound, or other phrases like “I’m fine”, “still there”, and so on. Depending on where we are, we can broadcast it aloud or mentally. It will be necessary to create a relaxing image, visualizing a calm place conducive to well-being. It can be both a real place and an imaginary place.

We imagine a staircase whose steps gradually approach this place, slowly counting the steps that we cross. We can also visualize a candle and play to change the intensity of its light, or any other image that can support us. These exercises will gradually lead us to the next, And a lot of practice will be needed to be able to focus on specific stimuli.

  • If you want to dive into the basic (and some not-so-basic) type of exercise to practice mindfulness, I recommend reading: “5 Mindfulness Exercises To Improve Your Emotional Well-Being”

6. Advanced exercises

Have trained the mind to focus on one aspect of perception or mental imageWe will need to exercise to allow it to empty itself and we may have a blank mind. It takes a lot of discipline but that is the end point of meditation. The thinking exercises described in the previous point can be used.

It is essential to maintain a neutral attitude towards thoughts or images, don’t judge them as good or bad, But just perceive them, observe them in an impersonal way. We may not be able to keep our minds blank for a few seconds during the first few attempts, but it is common and it will be the time that allows us to reach a state of deep meditation.

7. Why should we practice mindfulness?

Research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that practicing mindfulness for half an hour a day relieves symptoms of disorders such as depression or anxiety. In addition, they found that centered meditation (arising from the Buddhist practice of concentrating in the present and the absence of value judgments) this could have positive effects on pain perception. The results were validated even when controlling for the placebo effect. The increase in welfare would last up to six months.

Meditation too reports improvements in memory, concentration, self-awareness and self-awareness emotional intelligence. It is also associated with optimizing the resources of the immune system, as well as improving the perception of loneliness in the elderly.

Besides! A few weeks ago we published the following article which may help you understand them better psychological benefits of mindfulness:

  • “Mindfulness: know the 8 benefits of mindfulness”

Currently, some specific therapies incorporate certain principles and techniques of mindfulness. For example, the MBCT. This therapy has given excellent results, being as effective as antidepressants and further reducing the risk of recurrence.

Many techniques are used to mitigate the effects or improve the quality of life of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, chronic pain, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress, etc.

A different philosophy of life

Beyond the specific techniques used in mindfulness, there is a philosophy of life based on what is meant by living in the here and now. And while some people understand mindfulness simply as something that leaves out information about what is happening in the present, from the philosophy of mindfulness attentional focus is seen as something that management allows us to release situations that block us and make us lose control.

After all, the simple act of not to fall into ruminating and obsessive ideas it is a way of thinking and feeling in a more free and coherent way. There are unpleasant memories and feelings that have the property of coming back to our consciousness over and over again, but knowing how to be in the present is a way to distance oneself from such experiences.

Mindfulness course

If you are interested in getting into the practice of mindfulness, there are various specialist centers that give you the opportunity to integrate the capacity for mindfulness into your personal life with the Mindfulness Training Program (M-PBI ).

These workshops are aimed at people who wish to improve their quality of life. You will be able to experiment with different techniques that will help you connect with yourself, reduce stress, achieve emotional balance, and improve your focus and concentration. In addition, in some of these workshops, you will have the opportunity to attend a rest day during which you can benefit an intensive session to put into practice everything that has been learned. All this, with the help of a team of professionals with extensive experience in mindfulness training.

This workshop is experiential and the methodology has been designed to be able to make the most of the content, with built-in short practices, so that you apply the exercises. in any activity of your daily life. The groups are small to encourage participation in the different dynamics that are offered and, in addition, the Mindfulness Focus Now app has been created so that you can enjoy using their audio practices anytime or anywhere from the your. smartphone. In short, with this training you will improve your ability to communicate and actively listen, your emotional intelligence and, in general, your well-being.

Bibliographical references:

  • Brantley, J. (2007). Calm anxiety. Find out how mindfulness and compassion can free you from fear and anxiety. Ed. Oniro.
  • Didonna F. (2011). Mindfulness Clinical Manual. Desclée de Brouwer.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Mindfulness on a daily basis. Wherever you go, you are here. Paidós.
  • Siegel, D. (2010). Brain and mindfulness. Paidós.
  • Williams, JM, Segal, Z., Kabat-Zinn, J. (2007). Overcome Depression. Discover the power of mindfulness practices. Ed. Paidós.

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