Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners
Practicing meditation can help us get in touch with our bodies and minds, stay in the present moment, and fight anxiety and negative mood. Regular practice can also make us better equipped to deal with stress in the future. The goal of mindfulness meditation is to bring attention to something like your breath or the sensation of your body, noticing when your mind wanders, and trying to bring your attention back to whatever you were focusing on. You do not have to strive to have a completely clear mind, which is a common misconception about meditation. Below are the steps of a very basic meditation technique for people who are just getting started with mindfulness meditation.
1. Find Somewhere to Sit and Get Comfortable
Find someplace that you can sit still for a few minutes that has little or no distractions. Then, get into a comfortable, relaxed sitting position while keeping your back as straight as you can and your chin up. If you get uncomfortable at any point during the meditation, try to adjust into a comfortable position again.
2. Close Your Eyes and Begin to Focus
Take a minute to notice the sounds and smells around you, and the sensations you currently feel. Next shift your attention to your body. Notice any tension in your body, the feeling of your clothes against your skin, and the feeling of whatever you're sitting on. Finally, move your attention to your thoughts. Simply notice what you are thinking about, and do not try to change it. Imagine that your thoughts are floating down a river, and you are just observing them as they flow.
Keeping your eyes closed, shift your attention to your breath. Slowly and deeply inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Try to imagine drawing the air all the way to the bottom of your lungs. Notice the sensations of your breath. Focus on your breath for about 2-5 minutes, or as long as you'd like until you feel more relaxed. If your mind starts to wander, simply notice this without judgement and bring your attention back to your breath.
4. Open Your Eyes and Refocus on Your Surroundings
When you are ready, open your eyes. Shift your attention to the sounds, smells and sights around you, and the sensations you feel.
Notice anything that has changed and any new sensations you feel after doing the meditation. Did you notice your mind wandering during the meditation? Were you able to bring your attention back to your breath? Acknowledge that you have successfully completed this meditation.
To learn more about mindfulness meditation and find some other meditations to try, click here.