Meditation is a good way of calming your mind. It simply means focusing your attention to reach a state of clear thinking and concentration.
One type of meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a very useful skill that anyone can learn – you don’t have to be a religious or spiritual person to do it. Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment and not paying attention to the thoughts that drift across your mind, whether they’re positive or negative. Gradually those thoughts stop and your mind goes into a state of deep calm that’s good for your mental health; there’s a lot of evidence that practicing mindfulness lowers anxiety and depression levels.
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness. You just have to focus on something – your breathing, the ticking of a clock or drinking a cup of tea, for example. You can do it anywhere.
An American medical school professor, Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, made mindfulness popular, and his videos demonstrating how to do it are very helpful. Have a look at some Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn mindfulness videos.
If you’d like to start doing mindfulness, you could join a class or use books, DVDs, YouTube videos or instructions online.
Find out more at mindfulness courses at This Way Up.
Try MoodGYM, e-couch, Headspace, Mind the Bump, Smiling Mind, This Way Up or VicHealth.