More and more life seems to claim our time and energy – and as a result – we can feel depleted in our body, mind, and soul. We recommend taking a short time each day, just five minutes even, to do a brief mindfulness meditation. There are many proven studies on the effects meditation can have on our physical well-being.
We find a personal practice of daily meditation is a great complement to taking care of your body using the principles of the 21-Day Clean Program. Try it today, you have nothing to lose!
How Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Your Life
A regular meditation practice has been shown to ease depression, improve mental functioning, and reduce stress and anxiety. It can also reduce thought-patterns, or attachments to negative feelings that may actually influence our physical chemistry and bodily functions.
Mindfulness Meditation quiets the constant, undirected thinking that often brings anxiety, worry, and distraction into our everyday lives. Even taking five minutes daily to meditate can bring us back into the present moment, encourage better decision-making, improve the benefits of a cleanse, and allow us to truly experience our lives at their fullest.
Meditation and Mindfulness Don’t Require Religion
Many people are put off from trying meditation by any connection to the divine or a religious sect. Mindfulness meditation does not require belief or religion, it’s simply “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment”. We are seeing more and more that this kind of attention to the moment can do wonderful things for our health and our lives.
Read through the instructions below, and then use the guided audio to take you through the meditation. You can also download the 5-minute guided meditation to your phone or tablet to use whenever you like.
5-MINUTE MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
Step 1: Get Comfortable and Breathe
Sit up in a chair with your back straight.
Place your feet flat on the floor under your knees.
Rest the palms of your hands on your thighs and relax your arms.
Look straight ahead but try not to focus anywhere in particular. Instead, notice everything in the room at once.
Take a deep breath and start feeling your feet. Feel them touching the floor or the inside of your shoes. Feel the temperature, the humidity; feel the texture of your socks. Feel your feet intensely from inside. Do not “think” about them, just feel them, sense them.
Step 2: Scan Your Body with Attention
After a few breaths, move your attention to your calves. Feel and sense these for several breaths.
Then, move your attention from body part to body part, first to your thighs, then your bottom against the chair, then to your abdomen and lower back, your chest and upper back, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your neck, face, and lastly your head.
Then let your awareness cover your whole body at the same time.
The idea of this part of the mindfulness meditation is to “scan” your body with your attention, stopping for a few breaths on each part. This practice will strengthen your ability to direct and hold your attention.
Step 3: Thank Your “Monkey Mind” for Sharing
You may notice that the moment you sit down, you start remembering things and feel the urge to act on them. This is part of the process. When those thoughts come to you and try to steal your attention away from your body, simply say silently to yourself, “Thank you for sharing,” and direct your attention back to your body.
If you feel discomfort or frustration and want to stop, just keep sitting still. Know that the discomfort you feel is not caused by the exercise itself rather it’s what commonly happens when you become aware of your baseline state. Becoming aware of this underlying state is the first step toward dissolving it, and claiming back the energy it consumes.
Step 4: Where Did That Thought Come From?
When you find yourself consumed by your “monkey mind”, try to separate your attention from your thoughts and re-focus it on the present.
“Who is deciding that I think these thoughts? If I had a choice, would I be thinking them?”
If your answer is no, say to your thoughts: “Thank you for sharing,” then immediately direct your attention to something in the present.
For example, you can focus your attention on your feet — don’t think about your feet, notice how they feel. This small boost of awareness breaks through habitual thought-patterns and anchors your attention into the present moment.
Step 5: Use Mindfulness Meditation Anytime, Anywhere
This technique can also be used in the middle of any stressful situation like a business meeting or a crowded rush-hour subway ride. When we are nervous, it is because our unconscious thoughts are interpreting, judging, measuring, expecting, and ultimately consuming vital energy and building anxiety. By re-directing our attention to our body and breath, we reclaim that wasted energy.
Practicing being present will synergistically work with any cleanse protocol to restore optimal wellness. You will begin to be able to use your energy and attention to stay present and productive. This practice will also help you be more aware of the decisions you are making and thus increasing the benefits of the 21-Day Clean Program.
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