Mindful Meditation Could Make Your Weekend Break Even More Relaxing
Posted on June 18, 2015 by James
Taking time out for yourself is incredibly important. By this, we mean actual holiday time not just snatching at the odd Sunday here and there when you’ve managed to escape your kids and/or the grandchildren.
Allowing yourself time to relax over the course of a long weekend break or, even better, an entire week or two, is essential for maintaining a healthy state of mind and can also do wonders for your physical health. Going on holiday allows you to escape the daily stresses of your everyday life and gives you a good amount of quality time to spend with your partner, your family and friends too.
However, a lot of people find it difficult to relax and forget about the stresses of work and daily life when they’re away on holiday. As such many find their holidays are spent constantly checking up on things back at home, things like: whether your team members at work are answering clients’ emails on time; is your teenage daughter eating right whilst you’re away; or even the fear that you’ve left the oven on and your house won’t be there when you get back!
All such fears are common but how can you make sure such worries and concerns don’t end up plaguing your holidays?
The latest practice to come to the fore to help give us peace of mind is something called mindfulness or mindful meditation. Whilst you may not have heard about this practice much before, it is becoming ever more popular with people, from CEOs of huge corporations to the sole trader down the road running their own yoga business.
Mindfulness stems from ancient practice and is claimed to be able to help you cope with the everyday stresses you’re constantly subjected to, not only helping to improve your mood but also your overall health too. This practice is something that can be done on an everyday basis but is especially important to adhere to when you are making your holiday plans.
No one wants negativity to ruin your holiday! You’ve worked long and hard for those days off so be sure to take some time to sit, relax and free your mind in order to prepare yourself for those well-deserved days off.
Below are a few steps for you to follow to give you a start in mindful meditation. These are based on the steps in the book ‘Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World’, which was co-authored by Danny Penman and gives you an ideal method to action when you’re travelling, or just causally sat at home:
Sit down and ensure you’re sitting up straight. You should make sure your spine is self-supporting, so bring your back forward a little and place both your feet flat on the ground. Rest both hands in your lap and shut your eyes nice and softly.
Start paying attention to how you are breathing, and try to focus on how the sensation of breathing in differs from that when you’re breathing out.
At this point, most people find their mind starts to wander but try not to let it. Always try to bring focus back to your breathing. At the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself if your mind does wander, since this is a natural thing. Just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing as this is central to mindful meditation.
You may get to the state where your mind becomes tranquil, just like a still pond. This feeling doesn’t always last very long, indeed for some it may not occur. It is important, however, to just be relaxed and not search for it; you’ve just got to be calm and patient and if it happens, it happens!
After a time you may find that your mind wanders again; if it does, just gently refocus it back on your breathing. Wait a few more minutes and then slowly open your eyes.
Next time you’re about to go on holiday, whether you’re taking three weeks off to cruise around the Mediterranean or taking a long weekend for a spa break, be sure to set aside some time for mindful meditation. That way you can make sure you’re going to be calm and focused on the gently splashing waves against your cruise ship or on the masseuse who is working out the knots in your shoulders, instead of any bothersome work and home troubles.
So go on, give mindfulness a go and spoil yourself with a holiday treat; you definitely deserve it!