Today, I am going to share some tips with you on practicing meditation. I used to worry all the time about having the ‘perfect’ environment before I started using mindfulness techniques. I’ve learned over the last few years that mindfulness can be just as powerful in my car than it is in the comfort of my own home on my yoga mat.
No matter what circumstances you are going through, it is admirable that you are taking the time to meditate. Some days may be a struggle to sit still. Some days may be a release of emotion. Meditation allows us to centre our awareness during the day or consolidate our thoughts for the end of the night. Honour yourself for your efforts.
- Soft eyes. If closing your eyes makes you feel sleepy (it happens to me) then keep your eyes slightly open. Soft eyes result in a ‘fuzzy’ vision so we can focus on our meditation without falling asleep.
- Breathe deeply. As a kid, I would attend singing lessons (back when I was sure I’d become a pop-star). Before singing, I’d first practice my breathing and warming up my vocal chords. Start practicing to breathe deeply. It has been a useful technique to become aware, increase focus and even to de-stress.
- Posture. Mindfulness isn’t about silence, it’s about awareness. Imagine the base of your spine to the crown of your head and sit up straight – no slouching. Being aware of your posture is just one way to bring you back to the now, which is the goal of meditation.
- Body scan. Become attentive to your entire body – check in with yourself. How are you feeling right now? Is there tension in your shoulders? Exhale and relax those tension-filled muscles.
- Practice wherever you can. Find time in the day or night to practice wherever you are. You don’t need the perfect space, just the dedication to practice.
- Practice short sessions. I’ve found in the last year or so, short sessions maximise my focus. During the day, I stick to 5-15 minute meditations for focus. If I have trouble sleeping, then I’ll play hour-long guided meditations.
- Expect the unexpected. During meditation, you never know what emotions may come up. In my experience, I’ve had times where I struggled to sit still or began to cry as an emotional release occurred that I didn’t know I needed. So expect the unexpected. No matter how you’re feeling, let it be.
- Stay with it. Going on from the last point, let the thoughts and emotions flow without judgement. Meditation isn’t about hiding what you feel, it’s about feeling what is. If you feel happy, that’s okay. If you’re feeling sad, that’s okay.
- Observe how the mind works. See what comes up when you are practicing. The power lies in the present moment. Until you are no longer in resistance to your thoughts, they will simply drift away.
- Accept and honour yourself. Meditation isn’t about getting somewhere. It is about accepting and honouring yourself and your thoughts.
I hope these tips help you tune in to the now.
Remember, you have the power to make positive changes in your life.
Lose your mind and come to your senses.Fritz Perls (Gestalt Psychotherapist)
Image by Caique.