Physical and emotional well-being is a continuous and personal work of self-awareness in a changing environment. Health, well-being and happiness is a common desire and our connection with the world has a fundamental impact on its fulfilment.
Both mindfulness and musical practice are two activities that contribute to our well-being, since they achieve full attention to what is happening now.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, psychology Phd., formulated the Theory of Flow or Theory of Optimal Experience, to define a state in which the person is absorbed in the task they are performing and enjoys so much that they lose track of time.
Music and mindfulness, put at the service of personal well-being, allow us to enhance our internal resources and reduce negative emotions such as stress and anxiety that the current situation of confinement can cause us.
When our mind is stressed, we lose ourselves in the past or in the future and forget the present. Psychologists Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman have been researching and recommending meditation for a fuller life for more than 30 years. Scientific studies support the multiple benefits that are achieved through relaxation techniques:
- Eliminate mental and physical tension
- Increase the capacity of concentration, attention and memory
- Prevent psychosomatic disorders such as headaches, muscle contractions and general discomfort
- Improve self-knowledge, increasing self-esteem and self-confidence
- Improve psychophysical balance
- Reduce fatigue and increase our energy levels
- Decrease heart and respiratory rate
- Increases the dilation of arteries and veins, improving irrigation and oxygenation of tissues
Therefore, being in the present moment constitutes the only true way to find peace in oneself and in the world. The amount of internal and external stimulus affects us enormously in ability to be in the here and now.
In our day to day we pay attention to the mobile, our problems (many imaginary) and a thousand and one other things. However, we neglect what is happening to us in the present moment. Our mind is usually anywhere but in the now.
In this sense, the goal of mindfulness is to reconcile with ourselves and create peace in every aspect of our daily life.
You can meditate or practice mindfulness playing an instrument, walking, synchronizing each step with your breath, showering or peeling potatoes. There are formal and informal practices. It is an activity that helps us generate energy of full consciousness, to be in our body at all times.
Awareness is essential for physical and emotional well-being. Much of the diseases we suffer from are in origin, emotional, that is why it is so important to find techniques that help us find emotional and physical balance. It all starts with paying attention to ourselves: from breathing to observing our thoughts.
In everyday life, we can incorporate practices aimed at developing conscious attention. For example, when the cell phone rings, wait for three sounds to think and then take the call. Do not operate on autopilot. Simply be aware. As with food, before we put food in our mouths, we could take just a moment to become aware. When done this way, food is perceived with more taste.
As any good technique, it requires a habit. Training the mind to contemplate what surrounds us requires time, effort and desire. Moving from a state of constant activity to inactivity is a very important step. In this stillness, there is the restoration and self-care.
The main myth of meditation is that you must silence your mind to achieve a successful practice, which causes many people to leave it out of frustration. We cannot stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention we give them. Although we cannot leave our minds blank, through meditation we can find the calm that already exists in the space between our thoughts.
Sometimes referred to as “the void”, this space between thoughts is pure awareness, pure silence and authentic peace. When we meditate we may use an object of attention such as the breath, an image or a mantra, allowing our mind to relax in the silent flow of our consciousness.
When thoughts appear, as they inevitably will, we need not judge or try to reject them. Instead, we can turn our attention to the object of attention. In all meditation there are moments, even if only microseconds, when the mind is submerged in this emptiness and experiences the life-giving energy of pure consciousness. As you become less identified with your thoughts and stories, you experience greater peace and open yourself to new possibilities.
Cross-practice between mindfulness and music contribute to our development, balance and emotional and physical well-being, reducing the current stress and anxiety generated by the COVID-19 crisis.