Do you struggle with monkey-mind (a mind that jumps from thought to thought like a monkey jumps from tree to tree)? The monkey mind is not content with being in the present moment, but rather is constantly distracted by the thoughts that pass through it. Is your brain unsettled, restless, inconstant, confused, indecisive, or uncontrollable? By practicing mindfulness meditation, neuroscientists have reported that after only eight weeks of mindfulness meditation, 30 minutes a day, you can not only calm your mind but your brain can create new brain cells (neurons) and connections between those neurons.
To practice mindfulness meditation, follow these guidelines:
- Find a comfortable posture that embodies wakefulness (such as sitting on a cushion or comfortable chair, walking, standing, or lying down).
- Choose a time of day when you are fairly awake. If you are alert, you might want to close your eyes. If you are drowsy or tired, you might want to keep your eyes open.
- Choose a time to meditate during which you will not be interrupted. Turn off all electronic devices.
- Begin by taking two or three deep breaths.
- Let go of thoughts of the past and future, and allow your body and mind to relax.
- Breathe normally during the meditation.
- Do not focus on anything specific but instead be fully aware of and alert to what is going on in the present moment.
- If thoughts, sounds, feelings, or physical sensations enter your awareness, gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
- Sit quietly for 30 minutes and observe your breath