A new study published in the JAMA this week, gives evidence that “mindful meditation” may help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Thanks to Science Daily for making me aware of this seemingly obvious story. I’m not knocking the researchers in any way, just acknowledging that if we all had 30-40 minutes to sit in silence and actively bring awareness to what is happening inside our minds and bodies, than sure, we would all feel a whole lot better (and probably be a whole lot nicer)! What I will recognize though, is my own anxiety surrounding what I have long considered an inability to meditate! “Mindful meditation” is different from what we are used to hearing about in terms of meditating, where the person is supposed to sit in stillness and quiet the mind. “Mindful meditation,” is an active activity. (I have no idea why I keep putting it in quotations either, except maybe to identify it as a term, rather than two separate words.) Mindfulness is basically being aware of feelings that arise, symptoms you are experiencing, and not judging yourself for them. So me saying that I suck at meditating is not being mindful. Me recognizing that meditation is frustrating however, is mindful. I am thinking about exercise, and how we know that 30 minutes of daily exercise is beneficial both mentally and physically. At some point “they” also came out and said that no matter how those 30 minutes are achieved, there are still benefits. What that means is that if you do ten minutes of exercise in the morning, ten at lunch, and ten minutes of exercise in the evening, you are still going to reap the rewards. I’m no expert, and I’m sure my meditation guru/therapist will happily chime in, but I am going to safely suggest that if you allow yourself any time, any time at all during the day to be “mindful”, then you will reap the reward! Go for it, starting now!
See? Don’t you feel better?!
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