People joke about wishing for a one-size-fits-all “happy pill” to help mitigate the problems of everyday life. What if we told you there is a way to overcome these problems and you won’t even need a pill?
Your body is more than capable of achieving a state of bliss all on its own through mindfulness meditation. Studies suggest that regular mindfulness meditation can do things like increase attention, better your ability to regulate emotions, and improve your quality of sleep. In this meditation practice, we’ll give you some simple strategies on how to incorporate simple mindfulness techniques into your day to enhance overall well-being.
#1 Select your location
Choose a quiet and peaceful place where you will not be interrupted. The location you choose is important and should allow you to detach from the hum of everyday life.
#2 Get comfortable
Wear comfortable clothing that won’t bother or distract you. Have some pillows or cushions near you to make sitting more comfortable. You may want to have a blanket near you as your body temperature may drop.
#3 Relax your body and settle your mind
Close your eyes and slowly begin to relax. Imagine each part of your body releasing tension. Be still and settle your mind—If your mind is dancing, let it dance as you start to settle in. You may feel your emotions stirring in your brain or find yourself thinking about what happened during the day or about things that need to happen in the future. All of this is perfectly normal. Just take a moment to identify the feelings you are having and then bring your focus to your physical position. Don’t worry if you need to move a little or make some adjustments- this is your practice and as long as you’re able to relax, you’re doing it right.
#4 Take deep breaths
Bring awareness to your breathing. Take notice of each inhalation and exhalation. Feel how each breath flows in and out of your body, filling your lungs and then releasing through your throat and your mouth. Begin to lengthen and deepen each breath. Taking deep breaths helps to settle and relax the mind and body.
#5 Focus on the present moment
Our minds tend to ruminate on the past and future, but your body is always in the present moment. Whenever you notice your mind wandering, try to consciously return your focus to your body, breath, and the present moment.
#6 Start small
Consider starting with 10 minute-long sessions, then slowly increase the time as you get more comfortable meditating. Any time you can dedicate to meditating will be benefit you greatly.
#7 There is no wrong way to meditate
Your meditation practice may be different from your friend’s – and that’s okay! Allow your experience to be your own and try not to be too self-critical. What matters is finding out what works best for you as you begin to grow and explore.