Mindfulness meditation, commonly associated with Zen Buddhism, has become popular in the past few years as a technique for dealing with depression, and managing stress and chronic pain. Evidence shows that mindfulness meditation can help reduce the chance of problems such as depression returning, and adds another weapon into your armory against emotional problems.
Being present in the moment
Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment, without passing judgement about your experience. The mindfulness process is so simple – and yet so challenging. Keep your attention focused on the moment that you’re experiencing right now. Suspend your judgement about what you’re feeling, thinking, and absorbing through your senses. Simply observe what’s going on around you, in your mind, and in your body without doing anything. Just allow yourself to be aware of what’s happening.
Mindfulness literature talks about the way your mind almost mechanically forms judgments about each of your experiences, labeling them as good, bad, or neutral depending on how you value them. Things that generate good and bad feelings within you get most of your attention, but you may ignore neutral things or deem them to be boring. Mindfulness meditation encourages awareness of the present moment with an uncultured mind, observing even the seemingly mundane without judgement. The whole experience is a bit like looking at the world for the first time. When you meet someone you know, try to see her through fresh eyes.
Suspend your prior knowledge, thoughts, experiences, and opinions about a specific person. You can try this with acquaintances or people you know very well, such as family members and close friends. Try mindfulness exercises when you’re in the countryside or walking down the street. Whether the surroundings are familiar to you or not, try to see the details of the world around you through fresh eyes.