The Guide to Mindful Meditation

The Guide to Mindful Meditation

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This article explores the key components of mindful meditation. We’ll also help you get started with your mindful meditation with the help of a step-by-step easy-to-follow guide.

Imagine you took a business trip during winter to a city where it gets very cold. And you decided to go for a walk in the morning and before going you checked the temperature which was minus -4F/20 C, and as it’s gonna be a long day of the meeting and this might be your only chance to get some fresh air in the morning, you decided to stick with the plan, so you bundle up, and you put on a heavy coat, hat, gloves, you brace yourself for the cold and go outside.

Then you take a few steps but something is wrong because under all those heavy clothes you are boiling, and when you check the temperature again it’s +45F and over 7C. You think I must have read it wrong when I checked it just a couple of minutes ago. But you were right because that was the world’s fastest record temperature change day (49 degrees in two minutes) on January 22nd, 1943 at 7:30 a.m. in Spearfish, South Dakota, USA.

In this town, on that day the temperature in only two minutes changed to 49-degree F over 27-degree C. So when it comes to how fast a temperature can change that’s extreme. Maybe the biggest swing over two minutes in recorded history.



But to adjust all you have to do is take off your coat, if only it were that easy to adapt in real life when it comes to how fast circumstances can change, how rapidly and unexpectedly challenges can arise, how fast and hard the ups and down can hit us. But Mindfulness can help.

In this post, we will help you with how you can practice mindfulness in your experiences and beyond your routine mediation practices.  We will also help you practice various effective mindfulness techniques to use across a wide range of situations that arise from your responsibilities at work or home, and even totally unexpected challenges and opportunities.

Mindfulness or mindful meditation can help you deal with them with great confidence because it is supported by research and its evidence-based on the most common needs, concerns, and questions that come up.

We have divided mindfulness into two categories-

Mindful Meditation Methods- For dealing with:

  1. Unexpected experiences
  2. And for strengthening personal alignment and connection.

In this changing world, one thing you can count on is change, and when life swerves at the temperature of South Dakota, the guide to mindful methods is like a closet full of clothes giving you options for whatever weather life sends your way.



1. Dealing with unwelcome experiences?

  • Stress

In a very famous Disney movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Jessica Rabbit said, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”

To use Mindfulness for stress, you need to see stress like the villain in a movie who turns out to be entirely misunderstood.

Similarly, “Stress isn’t bad, we are just made that way.”

Accepting that we are made that way and understanding how we are made that way gives us the place to put stress in its proper place. To help the earliest humans survive our brand evolved to give heightened attention to threats and danger. Now this involves complex biology and brain functioning.

In the modern world, we tend to stress much more often than we should because in modern life sources of stress are everywhere, and the brain embodies the stress response often treats everyday difficulties more likely life and death threats.

In evolutionary terms, we are designed to handle alarm breaks takeovers once in a while but not all day long. It’s like you want to relax but fire alarms in your building keep on ringing, and you have to keep getting up to evacuate the building to make sure you are safe.

But too much alarm time can cause serious mental health problems, that’s why we need to shift from alarm brain dominance to smart brain dominance in functioning.

The great news is that mindfulness-based stress reduction has a vast body of scientific research validating its benefits. Such research typically includes consistent meditation practice, so don’t forget to keep up your meditating.



  • Fear and Worry

Fear at the right time and in proportions indeed helps us survive as a species by reducing the exposure to danger and harm. But in modern times, most of us have more fear and worry that serves us well. And when I say fear, I am focusing on the unhealthy extension of fear in places where it doesn’t belong.

Fear is a fish ball, it’s an invisible cage that we put around ourselves, and it restricts our options and blocks access to the bigger and fuller world of choices and experiences we could have and should have. It’s not just that unhealthy fear feels bad, it imprisons us.

“The other side of every fear is FREEDOM.”

Life is so much better beyond our fish balls of fear. In a way we are not living when we are in a fish ball, we are not living fully in the present. Fear takes us out of the moment into our future that hasn’t happened might not.

Fear steals our present, and fear steals our light, if we don’t create a healthy relationship with fear when it strikes we shrink into primitive creatures dodging life itself to survive but not truly live.



But mindful meditation can help us deal with fear-

  • Pause and take a breath
  • Notice the fear in detail
  • Welcome it and help it
  • Self-criticism and Self-Doubt

“We consume our tomorrows fretting over yesterdays.” – Persius

Healthy self-criticism that motivates you to improve is fine, but what we are talking about is harassing yourself in ways that hamper your progress. Repeating loops of failure, and rejection are pointless and will make you lose your confidence and self-worth.

But the mindfulness alternative shines through if you think about what you say to loved ones when they run themselves down with undermining self-talk.



The mindful response to self-criticism is self-compassion. Self-compassion is –

“Treating yourself like you’d treat someone you love and care about when things go bad.”

When waves of self-criticism roll in, notice and acknowledge them as a pattern of thoughts that come and go, a pattern you would replace with others. Say to yourself the kind of things that you actually would say to a loved one.

  • Letting go

Often we hold on to when we should let go. It’s especially challenging when we don’t realize that we are doing the holding.

So here’s a challenging question for you: what are the top things you would let go of if you really could?

Or

What are the top things you’re holding onto, that you don’t want to hold onto?

So if you are harassing yourself with your past mistakes or even from other people’s mistakes, let go of them with mindfulness. So what mindfulness does is, give us a different way to look at these patterns and loosen them. Maybe it’s not that they get a hold of us but we are holding onto them often without realizing it.



2. Strengthening personal alignment and connection

  • Pause and reset

When you are watching a movie t home, then you can easily pause it, do the work and easily resume playing where you left it. And sometimes life imitates movies, and in this case, it’s a great mindfulness technique, throughout the day you can pause for a while and mindfully reset yourself before you press play on your day. To refresh yourself, get back on track, or make things even better.

In the mindfulness world, they are often called purposeful pauses, they can be quick, easy to follow, and even fun.   

Purposeful Pausing- Pausing with full open attention, letting the true full experience you’re having, come in.

How to Pause and re-set yourself?

  • Choose occurrences throughout the day.
  • Set regular timeframes for mindfulness on your schedule.
  • Practice mindfulness when you’re bored or discomforted.
  • Peak Performance

In mindful meditation or in mindfulness, we refer to peak performance as the state of flow. Flow is a state where optimal performance just seems to ‘flow’ like a river. Fundamentally, it’s a mindfulness state, and athletes call it being in the zone. It’s also very common for musicians, artists, and dancers, writers when they are at top of their game. 

It’s also accessible to anyone in the workplace, at home, or even on a hike with your child.



Four conditions that help us access that mindful state of flow for peak performances:

  1.  Deep focus on a single task
  2.  High challenge, high skill
  3.  Clear definition of success
  4.  Real-time feedback on progress
  • Children and young people

Often people say, children are the future, and yes children can be difficult sometimes but practicing mindfulness yourself can even help people around you.

As per a Harvard study, children are pretty sensitive when it comes to the stress their parents bring home from their work with them. But mindfulness can help, and as per the UCLS Mindfulness study, people said: By practicing mindfulness regularly, their parenting skills got improved and so did the behavior of their children.

Some mindful meditation/mindfulness exercises for children and parents to practice together-

  1. Pause for a full minute together and just listen.
  2. The three breaths- Stop whatever you were doing and just take three deep breaths.
  3. Make gratitude a habit


  • Mindful leadership

As per Bill George, if you bring mindfulness to how you lead, “You’re aware of your presence and the way you impact other people. You’re able to both observe and participate in each moment while recognizing the implications of your actions for the longer term.”

Regular mindfulness practices help leaders “…to gain focus and clarity in making their most important decisions, creativity in transforming their enterprises, compassion for their customers and employees, and the courage to go their way.”

  • Broader connection

By choosing compassion over frustration, we can find happiness.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”- Dalai Lama

Compassion corresponds to a variety of benefits in health, wellness, and social connection.

Conclusion-

“We deal with our mind from morning till evening, and it can be our best friend or our worst enemy.” – Matthieu Richard

Ongoing mindful meditation or mindfulness practice can rewire and strengthen beneficially the neuropathways that regulate our thoughts, emotions, and actions.



As Dr. Richard Davidson states, “The mind can change the brain, and a changed brain can then change the mind.”

No matter who you are and where in the world you are, you can use these tips and keep gaining from them for a lifetime. The gains are yours to claim, but to claim them you need to keep claiming them by being consistent and by reminding your mind to:

  1.  Be kind to your mind
  2.  Build mindfulness into your daily routines
  3.  Mentor your mind
  4.  Remind your mind

P.S. Let us know if you liked the article on mindful meditation and also let us know what you would like to read next.

Because I am so grateful for the opportunity to share these things with you and it is humbling to share the working wisdom of so many others over so many years who have made mindfulness accessible to all of us.

So I hope this helped you, and it also helps others to live fuller moments and inspire you to live fuller lives.  

Also Read: Mindfulness Exercises To Improve Your Mental Health


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