How to start a mindfulness meditation routine

Mindfulness has become a very popular movement, and I’m glad. I’m sure by now

you’ve seen at least one magazine at the check-out stands about Mindfulness and how

it can change your life. Well it’s true. Mindfulness is a tool that can be used for quite a

few things. Mindfulness is an active and open attention on the present and can really

fine-tune your feelings and perspectives in order to manage stress, negative thoughts

and anxiety. Processing your emotions and thoughts before you take action, while

reflecting on your past actions can give insight into the present and allow you to

navigate life in a more present and mature light. 


Because our thoughts create our reality, being aware of those thoughts is critical.

Mindfulness helps to keep us aware of our thoughts. It is often useful for addressing

flaws in our thinking and correcting them with ease and less effort.


Mindfulness can also be used as a great form of meditation giving you a break from all

the noise and chatter that goes on in our daily lives. (More so today than ever).

Mindfulness is the perfect stress reliever


When I learned to meditate many years ago, my life changed in ways that I could never

have imagined. I was at one time guilty of looking at external conditions and had the

tendency to struggle and resist ideas I was unfamiliar with. Over time I realized that

when my conscious mind is quiet, calm, peaceful and receptive, the wisdom of my

subconscious mind can rise to the surface and give me all kinds of incredible answers

and solutions to my challenges. Now when I tell my body and mind to be still, they have

to obey.


Although learning to mediate can be a little daunting for some, if you’re interested in

giving this a go, try it and keep at it for a while. You will be happy with the results you

achieve.


Let’s look at how you can start your first mindfulness session with the best chances of

success.


Step 1. Breathe

The first step is simply to breathe. Breathing deeply in and out through the nose will

help you reduce stress levels by circulating more oxygen in and through your body and

sending signals to your brain that you are in the ‘rest and digest state’. The release of

Cortisol will decrease, and your brain activity will slow down with deep breaths. Try it!

Breathe in and out slowly and deeply until your body relaxes.


Step 2. Concentrate on Your Senses

This is an excellent way to start bringing your attention inward, away from any stresses

of the day or any thoughts about what you may need to do or even what you may have

forgotten to do. So just listen out for any sounds that you normally miss, notice if your

body feels warm or cool. Notice any smells you detect. Don’t ‘look’ or listen for sounds, just let them come to you. You’ll likely find there is much more in your soundscape than

you ever realized. You may hear birds chirping, you may hear the wind rustling or even

trees blowing in the wind. These are sounds that escape us as we move about our days

in a hurried state.


Step 3. Use Progressive Relaxation

Turn your awareness inward even more. Concentrate on each body part as you tell it to

relax and be still. Start with your head and neck. Then relax your shoulders, torso, etc.

and notice how your muscles begin to relax as you concentrate more on relaxing each

body part. Continue to move down through your neck, shoulders, arms and all the way

to your toes, relaxing each part of your body as you place your attention on that part.

And just notice how the parts of your body feel as you become more aware of each,

With practice, you will eventually be able to take yourself into a relaxed state of being at

will. Enjoy the process and don’t give up on it.


Step 4. Let Your Mind do What it Wants

Finally, allow your mind to do whatever it wants. This means allowing it to wander,

allowing it to sit still: whatever. The point is to remain detached from the flow of

thoughts. While you might notice your thoughts, refrain from getting ‘caught up’ in them.

When you notice yourself getting lost, simply bring yourself calmly back to center and

notice your breathing.


Relax throughout the process. No need for pressuring yourself ever. Worry is also

unnecessary. Results are not always immediate but stick with the process. Remember

to just enjoy the pleasant and peaceful journey of relaxation. The whole point is to just

allow yourself a gentle break and the more you push for results, the less likely they are

to come.



Now try this a few times during the day and notice how calm and relaxed you become

throughout your day. It’s a wonderful feeling with many benefits The more you practice

this, the more calm you will feel and then you’ll want to explore other forms of

meditation that will take you even deeper into yourself and your inner being,


For additional resources on meditation go to Resources.

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© 2020 by Mimi Williams.