Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT
With today's technology and continually being on the go, it's hard to take the time to clear our minds and be present. You can achieve mindfulness by focusing one's awareness in the moment, while acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and body.
Mindfulness can be very beneficial. Mindfulness increases your awareness, understanding, and acceptance of emotions. It also encourages improvements in social skills and the ability to understand others' points of view.
Meditation is a great way to increase one's awareness and be more mindful. Meditation can focus one's mind for some time to reach a heightened level of consciousness or relaxation. There are several ways to practice meditation.
Meditation Preparation Tips:
Pick a quiet place
Choose calming music
Wear comfortable clothing
Start small with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase as you feel more comfortable
Stretch first before you start your practice
Get in a comfortable position
If satisfied, close your eyes to decrease visual distractions
Follow breath moving through your body
Breathe in slowly
Let the sigh out slowly
Clear your mind. Focus on one thing, but don't be critical of yourself if your mind wanders. Acknowledge your distractions and then let them go.
Try repeating a mantra or focus on an object.
Choose a place that creates calmness for you
Explore the area and the idea of being there
When you're ready to end your practice or leave, take a few deep breaths before opening your eyes
Close eyes and pick a starting point. Work from your head/face downward.
Focus on each body part before moving to the next.
Once you've relaxed every body part, focus on the body as a whole, and enjoy it.
Pay attention to the breath as you ease yourself out of meditation.
Choose a quiet, peaceful location to walk
Focus on the movement and change in your step
Attempt to clear your mind and focus on the walk itself
Add meditation to your daily routine
- When waking up
- When brushing your teeth
- When taking a shower
- When drying your body
- When getting dressed