Becoming more mindful and meditative is a practice. There are no shortcuts and no magical answers to becoming more mindful. Like learning any other discipline in life, meditation takes time, dedication and patience. The benefits include increased self-awareness, better relationships, lower blood pressure, improved blood circulation, lower heart rate, less perspiration, and slower respiratory rate.
This mini-guide is a great place to begin being more mindful--no matter where you’re starting from.
1. Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. The goal is to be more mindful, not fall asleep. If sleep happens, welcome it. Otherwise, try to be in an alert but comfortable seated position.
2. Softly close your eyes and settle into your space. If you feel the need to move, listen to your body. Perhaps a few shoulder rolls or head nods will help you settle in more. Remember, there is no need to rush!
3. Breathe at your normal pace. You might find that your breathing rate slows down after some time. Focus your attention on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
4. Hands can rest comfortably in your lap, or on your legs. Some meditate with the palms of their hands facing up as a symbol of being open to give and receive good intentions. Others place one hand on the heart and one on the belly as a reminder of the two organs that keep us going and deserve to be nourished.
5. Practice this basic meditation technique for two to three minutes. It’s not about blocking thoughts. Meditation is about finding stillness and focusing on the breath.
There are so many ways to bring your body to a more calm place. Allow a simple meditation practice to bring you some much-deserved peace!