It is 2022…and if there was anything that I would sink my whole savings account in, it would be placing a bet that we ALL have experienced an increase in stress at some point in our lives.
(If you would say you haven’t, you definitely need to email me so we can chat!).
One thing I have truly taken to heart with living through a global pandemic is, creating space and time for ourselves and our mental and physical well-being is more crucial now than ever. One way we can do that (and it’s TOTALLY FREE, love that huh?) is by utilizing mindfulness meditation.
If you are new to meditation you may be bogged down by all the different types and which one is “right” for you and what benefits you might get from them.
I TOTALLY get it. When I first started practicing, almost 2 decades ago (shhh, that’s just between you and me) I was resistant and overwhelmed as well. Learning all the different techniques and genres was both exciting and anxiety-provoking!
(wait, isn’t that what we want to REDUCE??) Don’t worry, we will.
But, I’m here to just tell you the scientific facts. It works and it helps us create freedom from a lot of unnecessary stress. Mindfulness meditation itself is FREE and the benefits are FREE! (did I mention FREE?). We like that… I know I do!
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started learning about all these mindfulness meditation FREE benefits!
Health is priority-without it, we cease to existMindfulness meditation guide-point I
Mindfulness Meditation Free Benefit: Lower Blood Pressure
In a two-year study, conducted by two researchers at Kent State University, they found that mindfulness meditation was effective in reducing one’s blood pressure. This is huge evidence! Statistically, over 60 million people are negatively impacted by high blood pressure in the United States alone.
High blood pressure can lead to many common chronic diseases and eventually, if left untreated and monitored, can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney and heart failure.
So, what can YOU start doing about incorporating mindfulness meditation into your life today? I am so glad you asked.
Mindfulness Meditation Free Benefits Pro Tip: If you have a FitBit or Apple Watch (or any fitness type watch for that matter), they often have built in “alarms” or gentle reminders that prompt you to take a few slow breaths or pause during your day. You can use these guides to help you remember to take literally 1-2 MINUTES (don’t use an excuse that you don’t have a couple minutes in your day) to do some mindfulness meditation.
No worries if you don’t know what an actual mindfulness meditation looks like. Your girl has got you! There will be a brief template example at the bottom of this article!
Gratitude is acknowledging that You are not the one sustaining your lifeMindfulness meditation guide-point II
Mindfulness Meditation Free Benefit: Slowing Down Your Life Improves Gratitude
I would walk up to whoever is the current World Champion poker player and bet my life savings that as a society, the human race does not need ANY help speeding up their life. We have all become masters at this type of lifestyle. Truly we have; and it’s sad.
Since we have become so conditioned to this way of life, anything that is different or goes against it, our brains now believe it is foreign and “not safe”. Or at the very least, uncomfortable.
If anyone could seriously come up with even ONE downfall to slowing down our lives and adding more awareness into it, I would gladly stop writing, retire away to a remote mountain somewhere and re-evaluate my life lol (it will never happen, that’s how confident I am in this; that it is life-changing, so here we are! I ain’t going anywhere.)
Here’s the deal with this point. When we slow down our lives and create space to recognize the world and magnificence around us, it increases and improves our gratitude. How can it not?
Mindfulness Meditation Free Benefits Guide Pro Tip: It is YOUR responsibility to either mental or physically STOP the forward motion of your life throughout your day and commit to MINUTES to be in the present. The universe won’t do that for you, your spouse won’t do that for you, your dog (all the while cute and cuddly) won’t do that for you. It is YOUR CHOICE and if you seriously can’t commit to 2 minutes yet then start at 30 seconds and grow from there. Your life with reward and thank you. THAT’S gratitude friends!
To rest the soul is to give the gift of renewal and rebirth into a new look on lifeMindfulness meditation guide-point III
Mindfulness Meditation Free Benefit: Improved Sleep Quality
We have now come to the mindfulness meditation free benefits guide point III, and I’m here to share a confession with you.
I used to not take this very seriously; importance of sleep that is. I never understood how important and crucial it was for the healthy functioning of my body and mind…until I was FORCED to find out.
After almost 15 years of crappy sleep patterns and chronic stress (from my military career) my body began to shutdown. My adrenal and endocrine system was shot, I developed a lot of illnesses and after years of testing and trial and error, I soon learned that the lack of quality sleep was one root cause of a lot.
The underlying blessing was THIS was at least something I had control over and I could take back some of my health.
As we age, hormones come into play and our sleep patterns subsequently shift and it may become harder to just fall asleep and bounce back refreshed in the morning like we used to growing up. Which is all the more reason to be intentional with your sleep health.
Mindfulness Meditation Free Benefits Pro Tip: Develop a nighttime routine and do not deviate from it for at least 21 days. You will be faced with distractions and probably initial sacrifices in order to prioritize your sleep, but I promise you it will be rewarding to your health in the end. Give yourself grace and patience.
Well friends you made it through the top 3 benefits of mindfulness meditation, now let’s actually see what a meditation looks like! If you’d like to follow along while reading this, find a quiet space, comfortable posture, and let’s begin.
Mindfulness Meditation Template
Release any tension found in the body…and just notice. Internally ask yourself “I wonder what this tension in my neck, jaw, back is trying to teach me?”
Start to deepen your inhales and exhales. If you want to softly close the eyes during this breath cycle honor that.
If you are outside is it sunny or gloomy? Can you feel the sun rays on your skin? The warmth and the light…
If it’s gloomy outside can you honor the clouds providing shade for you on what may otherwise be a brutal hot or humid day?
Notice the life force within you-
Your heart beating…
Your lungs expanding and collapsing with life-giving oxygen…
Your soul that is uniquely you.
Just notice..no judgement.
No answering complex “why” questions. They do not belong here in this space.
This space you are creating right now is simply for you to honor and fuel your deep awareness to your life force, the peace, and gratitude surrounding what you have been missing out on honoring!
This is the authentic YOU!
Take in 4 more full breath cycles: in…and…out.
When you are ready to seal the practice, bring your hands to your heart, or in prayer posture with a slight bow of the head.
Give yourself gratitude for choosing to honor yourself in this short 2-3 minute practice.
Thank you for choosing YOU beautiful souls! Hope you can begin to incorporate these tools and resources for improving your health and wellness for decades to come!