The Benefits and Pleasures of Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation is ever more popular, with meditation apps in every corner of the internet and the benefits of mindfulness being recognised in pretty much every walk of life. But why would you do it, where would a beginner start, and what is the meaning of mindfulness?
We’re really lucky to be living in a time where neuroscience is confirming what the spiritually-inclined already knew - meditation is good for you! Studies have shown us that a mindfulness practice is not just relaxing - it can actually ease conditions such as anxiety and depression, improve sleep, and even enhance our social lives!
Not only this, but we now know that 20 minutes of meditation a day changes the shape and structure of your brain in just a few short weeks - making it easier to process emotion, and increasing your experience of positive emotions. Life is easier when you meditate.
You don’t have to go on a weeks-long mountain retreat to enjoy the benefits of meditation (however much you might want to!) and in fact, you can even pair it with pleasure to enhance your experience.
Mindfulness is all about being in the moment, and the quickest way to the moment is by appreciating life through all your senses. Some people like to focus on breathing, or you might focus on an experience you’re having.
When I teach mindfulness for beginners, I like to start off with a chocolate meditation. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it even makes the chocolate last longer! People say that the chocolate tastes “more luxurious”, they enjoy it more, and of course, wouldn’t this be a perfect treat with your Letterbox chocolate?
I honestly believe that meditation can be a treat - enjoyable, pleasurable, indulgent even - and that makes it all the easier to create a practice and receive the blessing of all those long-term benefits.
So if you’re giving yourself the gift of relaxation and your own special spa ritual (please do, you deserve it), add in a meditation to make it all the more sacred.
The key thing to remember is that a few minutes’ meditation can make all the difference to the rest of the minutes in a day, making it easier to focus, and helping you to be more resilient to stress. If you can’t practice every day, practice on the days when you can, and most importantly of all, when you do practice, enjoy it!