This short and informative article will talk you through how to practice meditation and mindfulness.
If you haven’t tried meditation or you’re new to the practice and only just finding your way, it can be difficult to know where to start, and how to get the most out of it. So, here, I’ll talk you through the basics of how to practice meditation and mindfulness.
How do mindfulness and meditation work together?
Mindfulness and meditation often get confused for the same thing, but they are two separate practices. Mindfulness is being aware, noticing and acknowledging thoughts, feelings, or behaviours to engage with yourself and everything going on around you fully. Meditation is about clearing your mind of clutter and improving your focus.
While mindfulness and meditation are separate practices, the two can and are used in tandem to help you manage emotions, reactions, thoughts, or behaviours healthily. For example, the two are often used to manage anxiety, stress, and/or grief.
How to practice meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness is available to you at every moment, taking time to pause and check in on your body and mind, paying attention to yourself, your thoughts, and those of others, as well as the environment and atmosphere surrounding you.
It can be as simple as taking a moment to breathe before you answer the door or the phone, stepping back momentarily during a conversation to check in on how you’re feeling, or pausing before speaking during a meeting to ensure you’re happy with your response.
Meditation, however, is a more static practice.
Make meditation part of your daily practice. The most effective way to practice meditation is to make it a part of your daily routine, finding a specific place at the same time each day – whether early in the morning or late in the evening, to sit or lie down comfortably away from any distractions. How you sit or lay – on the floor, on your bed, on a chair – doesn’t necessarily matter, as long as you’re comfortable and feel relaxed.
Breathe deeply and slowly: once you’ve found somewhere comfortable and quiet to sit/lay, the next step is to breathe deeply and slowly, gazing into the middle distance and then gradually allowing your eyes to close.
Scan your body: Take some time to notice your body; how it’s feeling, any aches or pains; the weight of your arms and legs. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to the present moment and back to the attention of all the sensations you’re feeling within your body.
Declutter your mind: the key to meditation is decluttering your mind, acknowledging and being aware of your thoughts, but allowing them to pass through you, and permitting yourself to simply exist in the moment – find calm and quiet and be present in your body and breath.
The effects of meditation and mindfulness
There is so much positivity to be experienced by practicing meditation and mindfulness. It can help you be more present in the moment and teach you to appreciate all that’s going on around you and manage challenging emotions and situations such as anxiety, stress, grief, or unforeseen change upheaval.
By allowing yourself space and time to check in on your body and mind, becoming more aware of your emotions, behaviours, and thoughts, you’ll inevitably begin to feel calmer and at peace.
I truly believe meditation is a transformative practice and something I practice daily, every morning when I wake up.
As such, it’s also a cornerstone practice within the thinkmiracle program – a seven-week, free online course I’ve designed to help you find your inner peace and happiness.
Meditation and mindfulness transformed my life, and I hope it can do the same for you.