There are a variety of things one needs to learn about mindfulness but there are ways in which to simplify it in order to gain some benefits from it on your own. In order to practice mindfulness meditation here’s a guide for how to make it simple and help you feel better about yourself and the world around you.
Find a Good Spot and Pick a Time
Before you start your mindfulness meditation it’s really important that you find a good spot in your home to do this practice. It should be a spot in your home that doesn’t have a lot of clutter and it needs to be a nice quite spot. It’s alright to leave the lights on, but, if you prefer just practice it sitting in natural light. Outside for some tends to be a good spot.
It’s important that you set aside the amount of time you want to spend practicing mindfulness meditation. Have a predetermined time decided upon for when you are going to stop. This is especially important if you’re a beginner. When a beginner it’s best to only do it for 5 to 10 minutes. As you become more accustomed to it you can double that time and eventually work up to 45 to 60 minutes. It’s best that you use either a kitchen timer or the timer on your cell phone for the length you want to spend on your mindfulness meditation.
How You Should Sit
It really is up to the individual on how they want to sit. It’s really what is most comfortable. Being comfortable is important. Whether you’re in a chair, a cushion used for meditation, a bench, just make sure the spot will give you a good stable solid seat.
Make sure you are aware of what your legs are doing during this. If you’re on the floor with a cushion and then cross your legs to where they are comfortable. If you are sitting on a chair. It’s best if the bottom of your feet are on the floor comfortably.
It’s important that you are straight when you sit, just make sure you’re not stiff in the upper part of your body. Remember, your spine has a natural curve and you need to allow it to be in that natural position. Let your shoulders and head rest comfortably on your vertebrae.
You should let your hands drop easily by laying them on top of your legs. Your arms need to be at your side at the same time. If your arms are too far out or forward it’s going to make you have to hunch. If they are too far back they will make you too stiff.
The next thing you want to make sure you do is to drop the chin down a little and then let your gaze fall downward. You might want to lower your eyelids as well, however, it’s not mandatory.
Finally, before you start your mindfulness meditation relax for a few minutes in your seated position. Pay attention to your breathing and other sensations.
Feel Your Breathing
As you breathe in and out make sure that you feel it. This means follow it as you take in a breath and feel it as it goes out. Make sure to point your attention to how it feels when you are breathing. Feel it as it moves through your nose or your mouth. Pay attention to how it rises and falls and how your chest moves when you’re breathing. Once you’ve done this you should then pick your focal point and then with each breath you take you can mentally take note of your breathing in and your breathing out.
It’s inevitable that when you first start practicing mindfulness meditation that your attention to your breathing is going to wander off. That’s alright, don’t worry about this, it’s normal. Don’t let these distractions block or eliminate your thinking and focus. Once you realize that your mind is starting to wander just return your focus back to your breathing.
The Wandering Mind
Sometimes when you are trying to focus during your mindfulness meditation practice you may run into your mind wandering almost continuously. That’s okay because that too is considered to be normal. But, don’t wrestle with this and don’t engage in those thoughts. It’s alright to observe the thoughts, just try to avoid reacting to the intrusive thoughts. It’s best to just sit back and pay attention to them. This can be difficult to do, but with practice, it can be easier. You just need to learn not to be judgmental about yourself and those random thoughts.
Lift Your Gaze Up
When you feel like it, take time out and lift up your gaze and then start noticing the sounds that are around you in your environment. Pay attention to how your body is feeling right at that moment. You also want to pay attention to both your emotions and thoughts at this very moment. Pause for a minute and then decide if you want to keep going with your mindfulness meditation.
Be Aware of Feelings
While practicing mindfulness meditation it’s very important that you think of love while practicing. Love is something that shines a light on your awareness. If you concentrate on love when you are becoming aware of your feelings and thoughts you’ll be able to discern differences that exist between clinging to negative feelings and openness. Always to continue to notice how you feel without judging yourself for your thoughts and feelings.
Always Wish Well for Others
During your practice, it’s important to extend well wishes to others. It’s is not only good for them but it’s also very good for your own self. This means that you are experiencing a universal type of love. By wishing well for others helps you become more compassionate and more passionate with others. Most importantly, it takes a lot of the focus off yourself.
Try visualizing other people and repeat uplifting and well-wishing phrases for others during your mindfulness meditation. You can try starting off with yourself, be gentle with yourself, then move onto someone you love and wish them well. After that move onto a person, you are neutral about and after that move onto someone you might find difficult to deal with. Examples of well-wishing phrases are listed below:
- May this person be unharmed.
- I wish for this person to be happy.
- I hope for good health for this person.
- May they be at ease in their life.
Other Types of Mindfulness Practices
Love is a vital part of our survival and this is why focusing on love and passion is important when it comes to mindfulness. But, there are other types of mindfulness practices that can be beneficial to your overall well-being.
- Working with Your Anger – Anger can really be an ugly emotion and it can destroy relationships. Using mindfulness meditation is a good way to calm ourselves down and helps us explore our aggression and learn how to not respond to it.
- Navigate Through Your Sadness – Feeling sad is natural when you lose a loved one or some other sad event happens. However, if it goes unchecked it can be very unhealthy. This is why using mindfulness meditation can help you navigate through the sadness can help you get through it in a healthy manner.
- Let Go of Jealousy – Jealousy is not a fun feeling to have. It can get in the way of achieving what is best in your life. Even though jealousy can be a motivator it often leads to more negativity than positive outcomes. Mindfulness gives you a way to learn to let go of the jealousy and live a freer life.
- Lean Into Fears You Have – We need fear in our lives because it can save your life when there is danger near. However, if you let fear control your life it can paralyze you. Mindfulness helps you learn to tame it and direct it to work in your favor. Mindfulness can help you first name your fear and then once you recognize your fear it teaches you to lean into it and not to treat fear as a threat.