5 steps to mindfulness meditation
Meditation, which is basically all about doing nothing and being tuned in to your mind at the same time, can be quite frustrating to the novice, when it is mind itself that seems to get in the way of achieving any stillness. Perseverance is worth it, however, as research continues to show that the practice of meditation significantly reduces stress levels and can even increase our mental focus.
- Sit cross-legged on a cushion on the floor, or more comfortably in a chair if you prefer. Keep your back straight and let your shoulders drop. Take a deep breath in and close your eyes.
- Notice your breath. Don’t change your breathing, just focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your lungs.
- As thoughts come into your mind and start to distract you from your breathing, acknowledge these thoughts as being quite normal – don’t attempt to fight or eliminate them – simply return to focusing on your breathing each time this happens.
- Don’t judge yourself in any way or try to ignore distractions. Your job is to simply notice that your mind has wandered and to bring your attention back to your breathing.
- Start by doing this for 5 to 10 minutes a day for one week, and build it up to as much or a little as you feel is comfortable. The more you meditate on a regular basis, you will begin to notice just how much easier it is keep your attention from wandering in every day affairs. You will find yourself in possession of greater mental clarity, much more adept at dealing with life’s distractions and able to return to the task in hand quickly and with focus.