16 reasons why you should meditate regularly — Creating a Better Future

Meditation is not a new concept, with the earliest records of the practice dating back to 3000 BC. Meditation is a practice that has been used by humans for thousands of years and is used by a variety of people today, including business owners and health professionals. As a practice that has been around for […]

16 reasons why you should meditate regularly — Creating a Better Future

Group Mindfulness

Silhouette photo of group of young people

The Power Of Unity

Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you become nonjudgemental towards any thought that comes into your mind. It generally involves closing your eyes, focusing on breathing in and out and becoming a bystander towards the thoughts that invade your mind. Group mindfulness involves practicing the above, but with multiple people present at the same time.

Group mindfulness is a little different than mindfulness performed on your own, because practicing on your own requires a greater will and drive to actually sit down and perform the meditation. When in a group setting, there’s a higher tendency that you will perform mindfulness when others around you are doing it.

The power of unity really becomes evident during group mindfulness. When a leader guides the session, the act of hearing each other’s breathing in and out feels refreshing, as if everyone becomes synchronized. Unity is a great feeling, especially if you are battling loneliness or depression.

It’s very relaxing and exciting to partake in group mindfulness, especially when you are with people who you are comfortable with. There is something very calming about being together in a room full of people, practicing an exercise that is meant to calm you in the first place.

The room becomes filled with a feeling of positive energy; you can really feel it in your mind. Your mind becomes very relaxed as if washed over by a warm and gentle ocean wave. It can really set your day up nicely, especially if the group mindfulness is performed in the morning or even around noon.

If you have never performed mindfulness before, then start doing so on your own. After about 5-10 sessions, start seeking others who would be willing to partake in group mindfulness. The power of unity can really be felt during these sessions; there is nothing to lose, but everything to gain in regards to your mental health and overall wellbeing.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Negative Thoughts

Brunette white woman experiencing negative thoughts with hands on head

Hurt By Mindfulness

You’d be lying to yourself if you came out and said that you never experience negative thoughts. We all experience negative thoughts much more frequently than positive ones. That’s part of the reason why the human race is so evil at times: there are many who do not know how to control their negative thoughts and end up acting on them.

Negative thoughts have to be constantly dealt with if you want to maintain a proper state of mind. In a way, you have to learn how to coexist with negative thoughts, but not in a destructive manner that will hurt you or others around you. There are two types of ways in which our mind deals with negative thoughts: repression and suppression.

Repression is the unconscious act of placing your negative thoughts into your unconscious mind and not having access to them. For instance, this can occur when you have experienced a traumatic or uncomfortable event: your mind disposes the negative thoughts from your conscious awareness.

Suppression is when you purposely decide to bury negative thoughts into your unconscious mind. For instance, you just broke up with your boyfriend and want to move on, so you intentionally stop thinking about him in order to make the recovery easier. There is nothing wrong with repression and suppression, as long as they’re not unresolved conflicts.

Unresolved mental conflicts should not be disposed to your unconscious vault without first processing them appropriately. If you do bury them without processing them, they will only come out in the future with a stronger effect, causing you to experience a possible breakdown.

One way of properly processing negative thoughts is through mindfulness: the act of being nonjudgmental to any thought that comes your way. But with practice, you will realize that you are going to become exposed to a lot of baggage stemming from your unconscious mind, especially when you gain more stamina and can perform mindfulness for a longer duration.

You can essentially be “hurt by mindfulness” because of the powerful negative thoughts that are resurfacing into your conscious awareness. But do not allow this process to discourage you from practicing mindfulness. In actuality, the resurfacing of negative thoughts is healthy for you, because it gives you the opportunity to develop resilience towards negativity.

And the more resilient that you become as a person, the stronger your character becomes towards experiencing negativity or any potential mental health problem.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mindfulness For Beginners

Person standing in front of green plants practicing mindfulness

Being Mindful Of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is achieving a mental state that focuses one’s awareness on the present moment, while accepting feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations; it is used as a therapeutic technique. Many health benefits can emerge from mindfulness if practiced consistently.

The benefits of mindfulness:

  • Stress reduction (increases positive affect and decreases anxiety and negative affect)
  • Reduced rumination (also improves working memory capacity and attention)
  • Improved focus (helps you suppress distracting information)
  • Less emotional reactivity (helps you disengage from emotionally upsetting situations)
  • Improved cognitive flexibility (helps you recover faster after being negatively provoked as well as improves self-observation)
  • Improved relationships (helps you respond better to relationship stress and communicate your emotions more effectively)
  • Enhanced self-insight, intuition and morality
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased information processing speed
  • Promotes empathy towards others
  • Enhanced self-compassion (being nonjudgmental and non-reacting)
  • Improved counseling skills
  • Improved social connectedness and emotional intelligence
  • Helps decrease symptoms of PTSD

Find a quiet place in a comfortable environment and close your eyes. Allow all thoughts to flow and become nonjudgmental, no matter how negative and uncomfortable the thoughts are. Each time you perform mindfulness, attempt to go for a little longer; this will build your stamina and allow you to reap more benefits in the long run!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mute Your Ego

Woman controlling her ego by doing mindfulness on brown parquet flooring

Keep Yourself In Check

The ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Freud postulated that every person has an ego, ID and superego. The ID is the “animal in us”; it represents the part of us that seeks pleasure. The superego is the “teacher in us”; it represents the part of us that seeks a high moral ground and values social standards.

The ego balances the ID and superego. But just because it balances the two does not mean that we always benefit from it. As you can see for yourself, a lot of people walk around with a bolstering ego which makes them unlikeable, slimy, over-competitive, miserable and ugly on the inside; they may even be blinded by their own ego.

Think of the ego as the mask we put on for society; but we also internalize that mask which affects our decision-making and course in life, sometimes for the worse.

Learn to mute your ego; this can be accomplished through mindfulness. Sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes and let any thought flow into your mind; your job is to be nonjudgemental, no matter how emotional the thoughts can be.

Be present in the moment and allow your ego to dissolve into thin air; it takes patience and much practice, but you will start to notice a sense of relief with time.

It is probably almost impossible to get rid of your ego completely, but that is not the goal; we still need it to help us balance our ID and superego. But too much ego is detrimental; we need to keep our ego in check, and mindfulness is a nice and effective tool to do that.

Another way to control your ego is to be humble with yourself; lower your importance and shine with humility.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Free Yourself From Stress

Naked woman yelling and feeling stressed

Utilize Mindfulness To Alleviate Stress

We feel it everyday; it hits us from all directions. It stabs us in our chests, mind and soul. This 6-letter word is so agonizing that some people turn to substance abuse or even kill themselves. But stress can be utilized as a source of energy for improvement! But it needs to be tamed at the same time. Whenever feeling this negative energy, remind yourself “I do not need this at this moment” and instead, think of something positive, and preferably, jump into a pleasurable activity in that moment. Some find success with “mindfulness”; an activity involving closing your eyes and being nonjudgmental to all thoughts coming into your mind. Believe it or not, this relieves stress.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)