Mindfulness meditation is mental training practice that can improve both your mental and physical health. It combines the ancient neurotechnology of meditation with the practice of mindfulness. You learn to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. Each of the mental actions you practice strengthens neural connections, i.e., neuroplasticity that, with practice, rewire your brain, over time making mindfulness and compassion the automatic response. As the saying goes, “neurons that fire together, wire together,” and in this case, these are the concentration neurons, the awareness neurons, and the compassion and self-compassion neurons. We could all probably use a few more of those in our brains.
Mindfulness meditation has two main parts: attention and acceptance.
The attention piece is about tuning into your experiences to focus on what is happening in the present moment. It involves directing your awareness to your breath, your thoughts, the physical sensations in your body and the feelings you are experiencing. The acceptance piece involves observing those feelings and sensations without judgment. Instead of responding or reacting to those thoughts or feelings, you aim to note them and let them go.
Mindfulness meditation will benefit your physical as well as your mental health including the following: