Mindfulness involves choosing to direct our attention to the present moment, and meditation helps to cultivate a peaceful state of mind. These two practices are often combined, and this article, from the Harvard Health blog, highlights two styles of mindfulness meditation that have been studied for their effect on cognitive processing.
1. Focused Attention Meditation
Focused Attention Meditation can help you to improve your concentration and switch between tasks more seamlessly. It involves keeping your attention on an object or sensation, such as the air flowing in and out of your nostrils. Monitor the quality of your attention, and if it starts to dip, identify the source of the distraction and consciously return your attention to your focal point.
As you become more adept at this style of meditation, it will become easier to notice a distraction, but disengage from it and refocus.
2. Open Monitoring Meditation
This is a more advanced form of meditation, and differs from focused attention meditation in that there is no specific object of focus.
Instead of placing your attention on a specific point such as your breathing, allow your attention to flow. This is intended to help you “disengage from distractions and immerse yourself, instead of observing an ongoing stream of experience”.
Meditation is effectively brain training, and Open Monitoring Meditation can train us to become more aware of thinking patterns and emotional habits that are usually hidden. In turn, this increased awareness can help us to respond to things and situations intentionally, rather than reactively.
If you are interested in trying these styles of mindfulness meditation, expert assistance may help your progress. Click on the image below to book a free consultation call with our qualified complementary health practitioners.
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