Meditation: Just Breathe
This week we are breaking down the fundamentals of mindfulness technique, meditation. Feel free to download the graphic to keep it as a cheat sheet.
Before you start the meditation, the first thing you want to do is to make sure you will not be interrupted for about 10 to 15 minutes, including silencing all devices in the area during your meditation. In the beginning, try to find a timeframe for each day of the week. It takes a bit of practice before it becomes second nature. The more you practice, the better you get at it. Therefore try to carve out time daily to meditate even if you can only manage 5 minutes.
Now that you know when now it is time to think about where. Mindfulness meditation can be done in a chair or on the floor, whichever is most comfortable for you. Wear something which does not restrict your movements. You are going to focusing on a point in front of you. Since you will be keeping your eyes open, feel free to set the mood with candles or incense if so desired.
Once you have the time, place, and mood set, it is time to have a seat. Makes sure you keep your back straight; you can use a cushion for this. Find a spot on the wall and keep your eyes trained on it. If you sit in a chair, put your feet flat on the floor if you are sitting on the floor and cross your legs. Now, rest your hands palms down on your thighs. If you start to feel tired from holding the meditation position, take a break and readjust.
Turn your attention inward to your breathing. Notice the air filling your lungs as you inhale. When you exhale, pay attention to the sensation of air leaving your body. Also, recognize the rise and fall of your chest as your breath. Finally, listen to the sounds you make as you breathe.
It is natural for your mind to wander. If you find yourself getting upset or frustrated because you can not stay focused on your breathing, do not fight with yourself. It is perfectly normal for this to happen, which is why practice is so important. Notice your thoughts without judgment. Acknowledge your mind has moved away from your breathing, then return your brain to your breath. Do this as often as needed.
That is all to it. It sounds simple, but it does take some time to master. The more consistent you are, the better the results.