The Importance of Meditation + Mindfulness in the Time of Quarantine
As we are just a few months away from moving into our new space, we can hardly contain our excitement for the opening of our new Mindful Movement + Meditation studio! Especially in the year of 2020, these practices are so important for our mental (and physical) health. So... let’s begin by first demystifying these “buzzwords”, as well as remind ourselves of why these practices have a long history of enhancing our overall health and wellness.
What is Mindfulness?
A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a mind and body practice which focuses on the interactions among the brain, mind, and body. While there is not one specific way to practice meditation, it is most often practiced by using a technique such as mindfulness to train attention and awareness, as well as to achieve a state of mental clarity and inner calm.
What are the benefits of Mindfulness/Meditation?
Meditation has a long history of use for increasing calmness, inner peace, physical relaxation, psychological balance, as well as enhancing our overall health and well-being. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health’s research suggests that practicing meditation may also reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, as well as insomnia. A study published in 2012 also stated that meditation was proven to increase the brain’s ability to process information.
After revisiting these practices and their benefits, how do we get started? If you are anything like me, you may have thought that the year 2020 and time of quarantine would have been the perfect time to implement these practices. The combination of extended time at home and the negative effects of isolation both pointed to the need for meditation and mindfulness during this time. With this being said, I shockingly found that it was even harder to implement these practices into my daily routine. I had envisioned myself waking up, meditating for a few minutes, and being intentional about practicing mindfulness as I took my time to prepare my morning pour over coffee before attending my online meetings - soaking in all of this precious time that this new season of life had given us. Well, I am not exactly sure of how it happened, but by day 2 or 3 I was over sleeping, rushing to my online zoom meetings, and popping in a keurig cup without the slightest afterthought of starting my day with meditation. I found myself racing around to keep up with the ever changing demands of my job, family, and personal needs. Just as I had to learn how to adapt to these changing needs, I also had to learn how to adapt meditation and mindfulness into this new season of life. While it took time and self-discipline, I have now found a rhythm that works best for me, and cannot begin to describe the incredible benefits it has had on my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. While I am not an expert, and there are definitely still days where I forget, I have found that having a plan and taking advantage of the resources around me have helped me stay on track. This is one of the many reasons all of us at C.O.R.E are so excited to have you join us at our Mindful Movement + Meditation studio in the new year, as we would love to embark on this journey of wellness together with you!
In the meantime, if you are looking for that extra motivation to help you get started, please see the additional resources and apps below as I have found them to be helpful, and hope that you will too!
Well + Good: 10 Online Mindfulness Courses for Beginners