By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC
In my last blog post (Meditation–Is It Worth My Time?), I shared the many benefits of meditation. As promised, here is a brief introduction on how to meditate.
Harvard, Yale, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and many other reputable organizations have produced research that meditation is a very effective treatment for anxiety, depression, addiction, smoking cessation and weight loss.
If you’d like to reap the benefits of meditation, then simply follow the steps below and you will be on your way.
Please keep in mind that it is a process. We don’t get fit the first time we work out at a gym. We have to work out regularly. In the same way, meditation should be done daily or several times per week to see results. So don’t get frustrated if you do not feel much different after the first few attempts!
- Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted for ten minutes.
- Sit in a chair with your back straight and your hands resting on your knees or lap.
- Relax your neck and shoulders.
- Let your eyes unfocus and simply gaze into the middle distance.
- Take 5 deep breaths–in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Close your eyes on the last exhale.
- Start to notice your body–your posture, the sensations where your body touches the chair and feet touch the ground.
- Become mindful of your senses–notice all that you can hear, taste or smell. Don’t worry about noises that you may hear.
- Now scan your body from head to toe and notice any tension or discomfort.
- Scan again this time noticing which body parts feel relaxed.
- Become aware of your thoughts–simply notice them–you can’t turn them off, so don’t worry about them–just be aware.
- Notice your breathing–are the breaths shallow or deep? Strive for deeper, relaxed breathing for about 5 minutes.
- Become aware of your physical sensations–the chair, feet on the floor, hands in your lap, anything your senses can observe.
- Open your eyes slowly and calmly continue with your day. Try to keep this awareness (mindfulness) with you in all you do.
Over time, you will find yourself being present more with family, friends, work, and other moments throughout the day.
Modification–you may find it very helpful and uplifting to meditate on a particular verse, proverb, phrase or quote that encourages or inspires you. Meditate on the phrase during the 5 minute focused breathing section above.
The key to successful meditation is to take it slow and be consistent!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: www.randymoraitis.com, www.carepossible.com
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