Take a test drive of mindfulness.
Just push play and follow along.
Moodfit provides mindfulness audio tracks for you to learn the process right from the start. No previous experience required. Moodfit also allows you to track your mindfulness practice that is done outside of Moodfit. Using Moodfit you can compare your mindfulness minutes to other variables like your mood and sleep to spot relationships and patterns.
In a nutshell, mindfulness is present moment awareness without judgment. When doing mindfulness one puts their attention on an "anchor" like their breath or part of their body. They continue to focus their attention on this anchor, then when thoughts distract them they become aware of this, let the thoughts go without judgment of them, then bring their attention back to their anchor.
By repeating this process the mindfulness practitioner literally builds up their mental muscles to be able to place their focus on something at will and to be able to better hold that focus and to more quickly become aware of when that focus is broken. Additionally, the mindfulness practitioner becomes skilled to more easily release intrusive thoughts without becoming attached to them.
Building up such mental muscles can then be applied throughout one's life in personal and professional situations.
The benefits of regularly practicing mindfulness include include lowering stress, decreasing depression, improving memory, and increasing emotional regulation. In a large-scale review of more than 400 previous studies, mindfulness was identified as an effective mental health practice for helping almost all people improve their physical and psychological well-being.*
What's important with mindfulness meditation isn't the particular type of mindfulness you practice, e.g. breath meditation vs a body scan. Instead, what matters is that you develop a consistent daily practice.
Note that mindfulness isn't about trying to stop thoughts from entering your brain. Instead, mindfulness is about simply being aware when a thought has entered your mind, to acknowledge it without judgment, then to simply bring your attention back to your meditation. Each time you do this cycle of recognizing a thought has come into your head, not judging it, then bringing your attention back to your meditation is like a little exercise for your brain. When you think of it this way you realize that the thoughts that come into your head aren't an issue. Instead they're actually an opportunity to build up your mental muscles.
While we believe in the positive effects of mindfulness meditation, it's often not easy for many people to practice it consistently. So don't be frustrated if you find it difficult! Be patient with yourself and try different types of meditations.
Finally, note that some meditations can be activating to those with trauma histories, e.g. meditations involving the body. Always take care of yourself and stop right away any meditations that cause you significant discomfort. Mental health resources are available here.
* van Agteren J, Iasiello M, Lo L et al. "A systematic review and meta-analysis of psychological interventions to improve mental wellbeing." Nat Hum Behav. 2021. doi:10.1038/s41562-021-01093-w
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