As most people know, there are numerous ways in which to practice meditation. That said, believe it or not one of the most powerful meditation practices involves doing nothing except becoming mindful of one’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. And although mindfulness meditation is easier said than done, the practice holds within it the opportunity for a person to learn how to act and not react to life’s ups and downs.
Checkout this recent Psych Central post from Christy Matta on how to practice mindfulness meditation. According to Matta, who bases her article on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living, training oneself to become increasingly more mindful of one’s life can happen in 5 easy steps.
- Start with your breathing. Do an experiment for a few minutes on paying attention to your breathing. Watch your mind. Does it wander away and come back over the course of those few minutes? Set aside 5-10 minutes a day to pay attention to your breathing. You can do this sitting or lying down or in any comfortable position.
- Practice every day. You can continue to focus on your breathing or read books or listen to CD’s on the topic to get ideas for your mindfulness practice. I will include a few resources at the bottom of this post.
- Bring awareness to routine activities, such as waking up, shopping, washing dishes or answering email. Pick one routine a week and try to be fully engaged in it when you do it every time.
- Bring your awareness to your body. You can bring your attention to your body through yoga exercises or through a body scan, in which you slowly scan your attention through all the regions of your body, noticing any tensions, pain or other sensations.
- Now that you’ve started a practice, make a decision about when, where and how long you want to practice on a regular basis. Consider taking courses, reading or watching video’s about mindfulness to increase your knowledge and help you find ways to incorporate it into your life in a way that is helpful to you.
Read more from Matta here on how to practice mindfulness meditation.