5 Ways Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Your Mood

July 07, 2019

For nearly 20 years of my life, I rigorously practised martial arts.

Whilst it was a very physical pursuit, it taught me a lot about myself, what I’m capable of and the power of the human mind.

In more recent years as I’ve gotten older – and my body has felt the effects of years of punishment – I’ve transitioned to the more spiritual practice of yoga.

And for me, it’s been a very natural evolution.

Yoga (specifically I practice “Hot” yoga), like martial arts, is a constant work in progress.

Yogis have a saying that, “Yoga is a practice not a perfect”.

It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve practised, it’s one of those things that you never quite master…and it fosters a connection between the mind, body and spirit like no other activity I know.

Yoga teaches you to connect with your breath, which is really the starting point of mindfulness meditation.

You only need to take 5-10 minutes per day, somewhere quiet where you can be still to begin.

Here are 5 ways to experience mindfulness meditation and its benefits for yourself:

  1. Breathe Consciously – The Latin word for AIR is “spirit” and even though we breathe automatically, most people breath shallow and unconsciously. Practice breathing deeply into your diaphragm, holding for 3-5 seconds and releasing. This activity alone for 1-2 minutes will relax you, reduce anxiety and stress, and create a centred space for you to meditate from;
  2. Clear Mind Clutter – Your mind needs to be regularly cleared of the clutter that accumulates during your busy life. This is what thwarts progress and keeps you stuck and overwhelmed. By practising stillness and focussing on your breath, you will clear the chatter inside your head, free yourself from the past and be able to take control of your present and future experience;
  3. Meditate With Intention – Meditating without intent can put you at risk of amplifying past pain. On the other hand, by bringing intention and mindfulness into your meditation, it allows you to create perspective and take control of your thoughts that are causing you pain;
  4. Connect With Your Experience – Mindfulness through meditation allows you to reflect on your experiences from a position of strength and accountability. This allows you to release feelings of denial and blame that may be holding you back from learning from your experiences, which in turn is preventing you from continuing to grow mentally and emotionally (which is the lifeblood of your soul);
  5. Practice Mind Body Meditation – ancient eastern arts like Tai Chi and Yoga are forms of meditation with movement to connect the body, mind and spirit. It may take more than 10 minutes per day to include this type of mindfulness meditation into your routine, but the benefits are well worth it. Choose a level that works for you and practice it at least twice a week. The thing I love about “hot” yoga is not only the focus required through stretching, balancing and breathing, but also the detoxification and nourishment from the heat and amplified blood flow.
    Wherever you’re at, start with stillness, breath and work it from there.

One thing’s for sure…

By practising mindfulness meditation regularly, at the very least, you’ll add perspective to your mind, ‘feel good’ energy to your soul and you’ll boost your mood – but this is just the beginning.