Day-to-day life can be pretty chaotic, can’t it?
We spend most of our time rushing from place to place, concurrently thinking about five things at any given moment.
When you’re stressed out and overwhelmed, you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. With this kind of mindset, the last thing you want to do is meditate, right?!
However, this is when meditation is most useful. It actually makes you more productive with your time, offering you a more focused mind and a sense of clarity as you go about your day.
And with a little practice, meditation can help you achieve a state of mindfulness which actually prevents this stress from taking over in the first place.
In fact, over the long-term, meditation can completely transform your mind from erratic to calm – from negative to positive.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
The thing which confuses most people, though, is that they don’t actually know how to meditate, or even understand what it really is. They think it consists of sitting in front of some kind of shrine, lighting a bunch of herbs and chanting.
Now while there are various different types of meditations which do involve chanting and mantras and so on, there are also more simple forms of meditation which you can get started with at any time, even right now!
One of the most commonly used types (and one of my personal favourites) is Mindfulness Meditation.
Mindfulness Meditation generally involves focusing on your breathing and simply acknowledging your thoughts, rather than getting lost in them, or even worse, letting them control you.
People tend to operate on autopilot for the vast majority (if not all) of their waking life. It can be extremely beneficial to spend a small amount of time each day to anchor yourself to the present moment and simply be aware.
A ten to fifteen-minute mindfulness meditation can work wonders when it comes to eliminating stress, leaving you cool, calm and calculated as you go about your daily tasks.
Even a few minutes can be beneficial. On those super-busy days when I feel like I don’t have a single spare moment, I’ll still make sure I find 5 minutes to sit and meditate!
Whatever duration you decide on, plan it in advance and then stick to it. Otherwise, you might quit just as things are getting interesting.
I would recommend starting with 3-5 minutes. You can build up to however long you like – I personally like to sit for 20 minutes.
I’ve prepared a beginner’s guide below to help you get started with your practice. So without further ado…
The 5 Easy Steps to Mindfulness Meditation
Step 1: Find a spot and get comfortable
Try and find somewhere quiet, where you won’t be disturbed.
If you’re at home, great – this won’t be an issue.
If you’re out and about, try and find a quiet place where you at least have some privacy. I often meditate in my car if I’m on the road – it’s down to you to make it work!
Find a nice surface to sit, in a comfortable chair, or on a cushion with your legs crossed. I personally prefer to sit on my yoga mat (which you can grab here if you like).
You can lay down if needs be, but make sure you have the discipline and focus to stay awake. I wouldn’t recommend this method if you’re tired or sleep-deprived.
Sit with your hands either on your knees or interlinked. Maintain a straight back but don’t be stiff. Keep your chin up. Sit with a sense of dignity.
Step 2: Clear your mind
Close your eyes and take a moment to make a conscious effort to quieten the constant chatter of your brain. You can worry about trivial things whenever you like, but not during your meditation time.
Take a few slow, deep breaths, noticing the quiet pause between the inhale and the exhale, and vice versa.
Be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to have this time just for you. Feel the physical distractions around you fade away – they simply don’t matter right now.
Step 3: Connect with your breath
Becoming aware of your breath is essential in both yoga and meditation, and for good reason.
Feeling each breath moving in and out of your body is a way of connecting with the subtle energy inside yourself.
Try to focus on one breath. Don’t worry about the last breath, and don’t anticipate the next one. Just try and focus on your current breath.
Try and find where you feel the breath most in your body. For some people, this may be the nostrils. For others, it could be the chest. For you, it may be the stomach.
Feel the sensations of each breath coming in and out of your body, and focus on nothing else. Try to simply be in this present moment. Take it breath by breath.
For more information on the usefulness of connecting with your breath, check out this article!
Step 4: Be observant but not distracted
Remaining focused on your breath is a great way to stay centered. However, your mind will stray from time to time.
This is normal. Don’t let it throw you off or discourage you.
Simply acknowledge the fact that you’ve been distracted, let that thought go, and then reconnect with the breath.
The most important thing about mindfulness meditation is that you’re actually aware enough to notice that you’ve been distracted, and catch yourself. This shows that you are progressing. It shows that you’re no longer on autopilot.
In time, the distractions will become less and less, and the meditative state will grow deeper and deeper.
Step 5: End your meditation properly
Don’t just open your eyes at the end of your meditation session. Always give yourself a few moments to ‘get out’ of the state.
This is just important as the meditating itself. You don’t want to snap out of it too quickly and lose the relaxed attentiveness effect of the practice. You want to carry this feeling with you into the day.
Don’t rush the process of ending the meditation. Once you’re aware that the meditation is ending, just remain present, feeling the bodily sensations coming and going.
Keep your movements slow and mindful. Open your eyes slowly and integrate back into the world around you.
You’re now ready to go about your day with a new sense of peace, calmness and clarity.
And there we have it!
You’re ready to embark on your new journey of Mindfulness Meditation. Follow the tips I’ve given you in this post, and you’ll be well on your way to gaining a newfound sense of clarity which so many people are missing.
This effect can be greatly enhanced by a regular yoga practice, and also through exercise – the more intense the better. I’ve written an article here which should be a good starting point if you’re looking to burn off some steam, reduce stress, and lose body fat in the process.
I’d be super grateful if you could share this content on social media – but only if you’ve found it to be valuable! You can pin it to your Pinterest profile using the pretty image at the top of the article, or you can share it using the social buttons below.
I’d also love to invite you to join our exclusive Facebook group, The Wellness Community! It’s a place where you can network with other like-minded individuals – we all discuss ideas, offer encouragement and hold each other accountable to our goals! Go ahead and drop us a request, we’d love to have you.
If you have any questions at all, please do feel free to reach out at email@example.com! I always respond to my emails and I’d love to hear from you.
I appreciate your time, see you in the next article!