There are many different ways to develop a mindfulness practice, depending on what you’d like to focus on and which approach works best for you. See below for a few ideas on how you can get started:
Find a quiet place, sit tall, and follow your breath. Become aware of your breathing, but don’t try to control it. Aim for about 3 min to start, and try to increase your meditation by 1 min each time!
Another option is a whole-body scan: Either sitting or lying down in a relaxed position, begin to bring awareness to your body. Begin by paying attention to your toes, your feet, and gradually move your awareness up your body. By the time you’ve completed your body scan, your body should feel completely relaxed and heavy.
Thought, Emotion Mindfulness
Sit comfortably, and begin by taking slow deep breaths. When your breath is stable, let your thoughts come in and out, but maintain your frame of thought. Watch your thoughts as they go past, like an objective observer. Experience your thoughts and emotions without valuing or judging them. Accept your feelings, and aim not to change them, but instead changing your behaviours. Try including this as part of your meditation a couple minutes at a time. For instance, if you start thinking “I feel tired”, instead reframe your thought into “I am having the thought that I am tired”. Observe that the thought is there, and let it fade out on its own.
Mindfulness in Daily Life
Throughout your day-to-day activities, practice being aware of everything around you. From taking a walk and observing the surrounding nature, to sitting quietly and listening to the sounds around you, paying attention to how the ground feels beneath you. As another example, try to being aware of how your food tastes when you eat, how your clothes feel when you get dressed, how the water feels when you take a shower. Being aware of all the little things happening in the present moment with you, including remaining fully present with and aware of another person while interacting with them. Taking time to slow down and really enjoy the moment can be a relaxing, calming way to incorporate mindfulness into your day.
I’m excited for you to experience the many benefits of a mindfulness practice. I hope you can try at least one of these this week!