What is mindfulness?
For our purposes, the Cambridge Dictionary provides a fitting definition: “[Mindfulness is] the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm.” Mindfulness is not a trait that one either has or does not have. It can be acquired through careful and consistent training.
How does mindfulness work in relation to meditation?
Even as a beginner, the idea is to take a pause from everyday chaos and focus on ourselves, consciously choosing the subject of our focus. This requires coordinating a few different elements. Selecting an appropriate time and location is necessary, followed by paying close attention to the process and accepting imperfection. The Mayo Clinic explains that “Being able to focus on relaxing the body, noticing the breath and body sensations as being there just as they are, can help manage pain, as well as reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.”
How does this help ease chronic pain?
Numerous studies support the theory that regular meditation can help the affected person accept pain, think more clearly, and function at a better level on a daily basis. In addition, improving one’s sense of self confidence can produce an enormous leap in being able to perform necessary tasks and enjoy life, even when facing chronic pain.
How can I practice mindful meditation?
Methods of practice vary, so experiment with different practices, timing and methodology to see what works best for you.
The first step is to prioritize, making room both mentally and physically for a predetermined period of uninterrupted quiet.
Once that has been established, take a few deep breaths, get comfortable and turn on whichever recording or app you have chosen to walk you through a mindful meditation. Alternatively, have a printed sheet of instructions at close reach. Stay centered on the experience and enjoy!
If your first attempt was awkward or uncomfortable, you have choices to make. Of course, one could always quit, but nobody wants to be a quitter! Moreover, the real benefits of meditation hold the potential of improving your quality of life enough to make it worth it. How about trying again the next day and seeing if your chosen method doesn’t perhaps start feeling more natural? If that doesn’t seem a plausible solution, don’t give up! Do a little method hunting and find a different way of approaching the task at hand.
Mindful meditation does not need to mean sitting in the lotus position on a mat. Some of us are chair people and that’s okay. Some enjoy soothing music and some find it annoying. Whatever works for you – go with it!
If the heavy bleeding sometimes associated with uterine fibroids is getting in the way of comfortably practicing meditation, check out some of the tips on our site about exercise, nutrition and practical suggestions on how to manage life with uterine fibroids.
So why not give it a try? The potential benefits waiting for us in mindful meditation are well worth taking time out of understandably busy schedules to refuel through the self-care involved in instituting this practice as a fixture into our daily routines.