by Dr. Sheilajoy PhD, All Things Possible
Understanding Mindfulness Meditation
It's easy to get caught up in a pattern of swirling thoughts—thinking about a shopping list of things that need to be done, reflecting on past events, or could-be situations of the future and learning mindfulness can help. But what exactly is mindfulness meditating? It can be defined as a mental state that involves being fully focused on "the now" so you can acknowledge and accept your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. Mindfulness techniques can vary, but in general, mindfulness meditation involves a breathing practice and awareness of body and mind.
Practicing mindfulness meditation doesn't require props or preparation (no need for candles, essential oils, or mantras, unless you enjoy them). To get started, all you need is a comfortable place to sit, three to five minutes of free time, and a judgment-free mindset.
Dr. Sheilajoy, wants you to know meditation is a practice, so it is never perfect. Never beat up, judge or be critical of yourself. You are ready to start now just where you are.
Follow these Steps to do Start Mindfulness Meditation
How to Get Started
Learning mindfulness meditation is easy enough to practice on your own, but a teacher or program can also help you get started, particularly if you're practicing meditation for specific health reasons. Here are some simple steps to help you get started on your own.
1. Set Aside Time to do Your Meditation
If you set your alarm 10 to 20 minutes before little ones rise or set aside time to wind down a few minutes prior to bedtime, do your best to carve out a time each day to practice mindfulness mediation. And don't be too hard on yourself if life gets in the way; just try again tomorrow.
How to Get Calm and Relaxed for Mindfulness Meditation
The First thing to do in Mindfulness Meditation Is finding a comfortable place to sit. Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff. It's also helpful to wear comfortable, loose clothing so you're not distracted.
2. Think about having a Timer
While it's not necessary, a timer (preferably with a soft, gentle alarm) can help you focus on meditation and forget about time—and eliminate any excuses you have for stopping and doing something else. Since many people lose track of time while meditating, it can also ensure you're not meditating for too long. Be sure to also allow yourself time after meditation to become aware of where you are and get up gradually.
3. Focus on Breathing
Become aware of your breath, adjusting to the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall and the air enter your nose and leave your mouth. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.
Once your thoughts come up in your mind, don’t overlook or try them. Simply notice them, remain calm and relax use your breathing as tool.
4. Give Yourself Permission to Take a Break
If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts—whether with worry, fear, anxiety, or hope—observe where your mind went, without finding judgment, and just return to your breathing. Don't be hard on yourself if this happens! The practice of returning to your breath and refocusing on the present is the exercise of mindfulness mediation.