The Mindfulness Style of NeuroMeditation emphasizes observing your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations more objectively, learning to create distance from internal reactions, bringing attention more fully to the present moment, and accepting things as they are without grasping, clinging, or pushing things away.
These practices are associated with calming portions of the brain involved in the stress response. They teach the brain to become flexible and let go of habitual ways of perceiving yourself, others, or the environment.
You might begin with a few different practices:
Try spending time every day tuning into the body. What is happening right now? Where is there muscle tension? Where is there pain? Are there any pleasant sensations? What is the breath doing? Can you feel the wholeness of your body? Can you simply notice these sensations without changing anything or judging them? Can you also notice your reactions to the process? If you participate in yoga or another body-based practice, bring these observations into those practices.
When you notice yourself having a particular thought, or that the mind is creating a story about some event in your life, examine the thoughts and ask yourself if that thought is accurate? Is it the full Truth? How is each particular thought or story connected to fears, habits, and history? Can you recognize that your thoughts are not facts?
Choose an activity that you typically do “mind-less-ly or on auto pilot” and for the next week do it mindfully. Examples might include taking a shower, eating a meal, driving your car, or doing the dishes.
- Be curious about your internal experience. Use these practices as opportunities to learn about how the mind works.
- Practice throughout the day. Mindfulness is one of the NeuroMeditation styles that can be practiced in daily life, anywhere, anytime. Take advantage of this.
- Download the Mindfulness Bell application for your phone and set it to go off every hour. When it rings, take one minute to “tune in” to your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
- Watch the YouTube video “This is Water”
- Practice with a guided mindfulness meditation or body scan.
Because Quiet Mind NeuroMeditation practices are also involved in increasing slow brainwave activity, these practices may also be useful.
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Note: For individuals who have experienced traumatic or overwhelming life events, certain meditation or relaxation practices can contribute to unmanageable affect and bodily sensations. As a result, trauma survivors may decide that they are not capable of meditation, or that it’s “not right for them.” It’s important to understand that traumatic experiences can significantly affect our perceptions and our sense of self, and can sensitize us to sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Fortunately, there are helpful ways to ensure that meditation instruction is trauma-informed, with an emphasis on grounding and physical and emotional security. Please see the section on Trauma Informed NeuroMeditation for more details, or contact an NMI Therapist near you.