A Day of Mindfulness

Research has linked mindfulness meditation with reduced anxiety, an increase in positive emotions, and—with enough practice—permanent structural changes in the brain that sustain these benefits.

According to the Meditation Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Mindfulness practice should be enjoyable, not work or effort.To breathe in, you just breathe in. Allow your breath to take place. Become aware of it and enjoy it. Effortlessness. Enjoyment. The same thing is true with walking mindfully. Every step you take should be enjoyable. Every step should help you touch the wonders of life, in yourself and around you.

The Meditation master recommends setting aside a day of the week, any day that accords with your situation and forget the work you do during other days. Do not organize any meetings or have friends over. But just try to perform simple activities such as house cleaning, cooking or laundry. Once the house is neat and clean, and in order, he recommends taking a slow-relaxing bath. With each of these activities, one must perform them with utmost mindfulness, i.e. with mindful breathing every step of the way. Afterwards, take a walk to practice mindful breathing and not let it distract you somewhere else, and knowing that you are walking and breathing in and out. Try following the same procedure as listening to music or conversing with a friend, where you practice mindful breathing. During the day he recommends taking at least two walks of 30-45mins each. Meals are recommended to be light or just a glass of juice through the end of the day. Before going to bed, instead of reading right before, try practicing total relaxation for 5-10mins. Be the master of your breathing. He recommends gentle breathing, with not too long breaths, following the rising and lowering of your stomach and chest and with your eyes closed. Overall, he recommends that every movement of the day be at least two times slower than usual(Hanh, 1976).

Hanh, Thich Nhat 1976. The Miracle of Mindfulness, Boston, MA: Beacon Press Boston.

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