What are some fun mindfulness activities and mindfulness grounding techniques that you can use to start your day?
Mindfulness exercises for focus can help us to reset our perspective at the beginning of the day. Using a few good brain wake up exercises that employ good morning mindfulness techniques can make all the difference in how we see our world throughout the day.
If you are working to overcome an addiction, mindfulness in recovery can be a great way to improve your mindset. Meditation for addiction and mindfulness for recovery is an excellent approach to the daily healing process.
There is a connection between relaxation and mindfulness techniques. The best mindfulness exercises will help to promote a general sense of calm and contentedness.
One way to engage in mindfulness meditation consistently is to use a smartphone app designed to provide guided meditation exercises, such as the guided body scan. For example, there are many apps which combine peaceful music, nature sounds, and the voice of a meditation guide who will help you to focus on your breath and then focus on the relaxation of various parts of your body.
Positive morning meditation is often best started off with a 5 minute gratitude meditation.
Visual meditation simply means visualizing objects, people, or settings with your mind’s eye. You close your eyes and imagine in as much detail as possible whatever it is that you are attempting to visualize.
With Gratitude Meditation, you can first determine something for which you are intensely grateful for in your life, and then breathe deeply, close your eyes, and visualize the object of your gratitude. For example, I was intensely grateful for quitting a particular job many years ago.
It may seem like a strange thing to be grateful for, but it fills me with inner peace to visualize where I was at that moment and how I felt after hanging up the phone. While there may have been some anxiety over what was to come in the future, there was a sense of an incredible weight being lifted off of me.
The sense of freedom that comes from that visualization always fills me with gratitude that, even relatively late in life, I realized the direction that my life must take and I awakened to something that was painful that must be avoided, going forward. Of course, there are many things I am grateful for, including my health, people in my life, having a home, and a career that allows me to care for my family.
Can guided meditation help to heal the mind and body from the effects of active addiction?
Yet, when we use such a guided meditation to shift the mental models of our world, we are able to develop new insights into where we must be in life to experience fulfillment. Maybe we will not get there in a day, a month, or even in a year or two, but by experiencing a higher self meditation that opens our eyes to who we are and what we are here to accomplish, we can start to take small steps each day to take us in the right direction.
Beyond gratitude meditation and visual meditation, my other favorite is auditory awareness and mindfulness meditation. I first learned about this simple, yet highly effective mindfulness meditation exercise from work addiction expert, Bryan Robinson, in our podcast conversation.
Dr. Robinson explained how an excellent start to practicing mindful meditations was to focus on a sound in the environment. It could be the sounds of birds, a machine noise, the distant sounds of traffic, or the sound of flowing water, if you happen to be near a babbling brook.
The key to this practice is simply to focus on the sound and the quality of the sound. You must put down your phone and be free of any distractions, for at least a minute.
Close your eyes and listen carefully.
As you listen, thoughts may enter your mind, but you still continue to focus on the sound, allowing the thoughts to dissipate. Remember that thoughts are simply a function of your brain generating content, which is an ongoing function of a working brain. We rely on our brains to always be thinking and calculating, preparing us for what might happen in the near future.
Brains are effective organs that protect it from a dangerous environment, just like a turtle’s shell protects the turtle from attack. Our brains are always thinking and planning for what might happen next if we do one thing or another.
However, much of the content generated by our brains is based in irrational fear. Much of what we fear might happen to us is not likely to happen at all. There is no harm in taking a break for a minute or two from the endless stream of thoughts that our brains produce.
Focus on a sound, close your eyes, and allow the thoughts to pass through without engaging with them. Your thoughts will still be there for you when you are finished with your mindfulness meditation exercises.
How can heart centered meditation help?
Another podcast guest whom I thoroughly enjoyed meeting was Karen Newell, CEO and founder of Sacred Acoustics. Karen believes in open heart meditation, which involves focusing on the heart as a center of love and warmth, rather than just a pump to push blood through our circulatory system.
Of course, the job of bringing nutrients and oxygen to every cell in our body, as well as removing waste and toxins is a job that should not be minimized. Our hearts and lungs provide this incredibly valuable service that allows us to live in the world from one moment to another.
Yet, according to Karen Newell, our hearts are also much more than this, acting as a center for love and other positive emotions. Practicing open heart meditation, or heart centered meditation, involves focusing on the heart chakra and visualizing the bringing in of energy to cleanse feelings of anxiety and stress from our minds and bodies by unblocking the energy flow through the heart.
In fact, if you are interested in heart focused meditations, Sacred Acoustics produces incredible audio programs that include world instruments, binaural beats, and guided meditations, many of them with Karen herself acting as your guide.
What is Reiki Guided Meditation?
Many people believe in a universal life force energy, which practitioners of Reiki might refer to as the Reiki Universal Life Energy. The belief is that there is a loving, intelligent energy force filling the universe that can be tapped into for emotional and physical healing.
Some people have even described this universal mind as a multidimensional being, of which all of our awarenesses are a part of. You might think of it as each life that experiences consciousness is like a finger puppet on the same giant universal hand as every other consciousness in the universe.
By connecting to this universal mind power, through visualization and being mindful of the loving, peaceful nature of the greater universe, we are able to access this healing power, which can help to put us at ease. When you are able to enter into a mindset in the morning that there is nothing to fear, you are able to get through your day without the usual level of anxiety that you might experience without practicing mindful meditation exercises.
Reiki is a form of healing from a distance. The distance might be a few inches, as the practitioner moves their hands along energy fields over your body.
Or, the Reiki master might provide therapy over a video Zoom call. It is possible that Reiki healing might be also provided through pre-recorded sessions available by video, audio, or in a smartphone app.
Are new age spiritual meditation-related concepts scientifically sound?
At this point, if you are a science-focused individual, you may start to question the validity of concepts such as chakras, universal mind, universal consciousness, and Reiki healing from a distance. While focusing the mind on gratitude and relaxation techniques makes perfect sense scientifically, calming the brain and body through proven techniques, the new age Eastern philosophies might not sit well with you.
However, our mental models of our world and universe can be helpful to us, regardless of scientific proof. In fact, science and spirituality are separate fields altogether.
No one walks into a church, demanding that the church members provide proof of their beliefs. Spiritual beliefs that benefit our health and experience of life do not require scientific inquiry.
So, there is no need to believe in universal mind power or any other new age beliefs, but if you find these concepts helpful, you may enjoy exploring them further and using them as part of your mindfulness meditation exercises.
Does meditation for addiction really work?
Meditation and mindfulness are not just for helping with overcoming an addiction. The most successful leaders in the world have in common one daily practice, they all engage in mindfulness and meditation.
Early recovery can be difficult due to sometimes crippling anxiety and frequent drug cravings. Yet, practicing journaling and mindful gratitude exercises can make all the difference to help improve your relationship with anxiety and depression or feeling lost.
The emotional trauma of experiencing active addiction is real and can have serious lasting effects. It takes time, and significant effort to remain free from addiction and to move forward in life.
If you are in recovery from addiction, no longer engaged in substance abuse, and you feel lost, do not despair. Every day that you are able to go from morning to night without relapsing and using drugs again is a successful day.
In addition to medical treatment for addiction and psychological therapy, it can be most helpful to have a set daily practice of mindfulness meditation exercises. Everyone is different, so what works for one person may not work as well for another.
Trying out various forms of mindful meditation will help you to find what works for you.
As you explore the world of meditation practices, you will find what works and does not work for you. For example, you may do very well with a particular smartphone app for meditation because you like the voice of the meditation guide.
In fact, it may not even be important what your meditation guide says during a guided morning meditation. Whether they use gratitude meditation, or refer to chakras, spiritual energy, or other concepts, you may find that the combination of music, sounds, and the voice of your guide are helpful to get you into a beneficial, peaceful state of meditation.
Clearing your mind with a positive morning meditation will help you to start your day on the right foot. It does not have to be difficult or complicated. You simply try something out and give it a chance.
If you find that one meditation program is not working for you, try something else. Generally, gratitude practices are helpful for just about everyone.
Gratitude is an excellent practice that can help anyone to improve their mindset and outlook on life.
Yet, how you implement your practice of gratitude may differ from how others practice gratitude meditation. You may choose to keep a daily list of what you are grateful for in life.
Or, you may choose to simply close your eyes, breathe deeply, and focus on one thing for which you are most grateful. How you choose to practice daily meditations is up to you.
Also, you may find it useful to read spiritual texts about meditation practices. Reading about great spiritual leaders has been helpful to many people on their journey to enlightenment through mindful meditation.
There are many well-known gurus who teach about the spirit and the mind, and how to practice meditation as the mind attempts to distract us with various thoughts. Reading various books on the subject can help to get a better idea of what will work best for you.
Do not allow yourself to become discouraged with meditation.
Most importantly, do not allow yourself to become discouraged if mindful meditation exercises do not seem to be working for you. If you sit quietly for a minute, five minutes, or ten minutes of meditation, and you feel like nothing happened, it does not mean that you wasted that time.
It is important to be able to take short breaks from life where you have the freedom and opportunity to not be engaged in interacting with your phone or computer, or dealing with the tasks of daily life.
You have the right to sit quietly for a few minutes, several times daily, to quiet your mind and live in a moment of peacefulness. Meditation does not mean having a mind-blowing spiritual experience.
Mindful meditation is simply the practice of quieting the mind and experiencing the present moment. As you learn more about what works best for you in meditating, you will get even more out of the daily practice of mindful meditation exercises.