Mindful Breathing Meditation – 7 Minutes
Use this meditation twice daily to develop better focus, attention and a greater overall sense of clarity and calm over time.
Mindfulness is the practice of awareness of the present moment, enabling us to disassociate with notions of past and future that trigger rumination and stress. With mindful breathing meditation, we use the breath as an object of meditation, concentrating deeply on the rhythm and sensation of our most basic life force. Think of it as an exercise for your brain that strengthens your “attention muscle” by forcing your awareness inward and challenging you to stay focused.
In perhaps the most significant mindfulness study to date, a team of Harvard researchers found that after 8 weeks of daily practice, mindful meditators reported a sense of increased peace and clarity while non-meditators did not. Not only that, but their MRIs showed an increase in grey matter in parts of the brain associated with focus and attention and a decrease in grey matter associated with stress and anxiety (non-meditators remained unchanged).
The practice: Sit comfortably with a long, straight spine and find a slow, oceanic breath. Begin counting your inhales and exhales from one to ten (inhale one, exhale one; inhale two, exhale two; etc.). When you reach ten, start again but count backwards to one. Repeat this cycle five times. When you’ve completed five cycles of breath-counting, simply continue to breathe at this calm, steady pace, for two-to-three minutes, visualizing the breath moving through the respiratory system and appreciating its physical relationship with the body.
Article By Sarah Vaynerman, Huffington Post