Mindfulness meditation is not hard and time-consuming.
If short on time, we tell you how to get a drop of mindfulness in just 3 minutes. Three minutes of your day is just 0.2% of 24 hours.
Modern-day minds are often full and chaotic. A mindful mind is focused and productive. It can follow a single idea from start to finish without diversions.
Do it for a week to see the benefits. If you want to grab a full beginner’s guide to mindfulness meditation, go here.
What are the 3 steps of mindfulness?
Mindfulness meditation essentially comprises just three steps:
- Step 1: Sit with closed eyes.
- Step 2: Focus your mind on your breathing.
- Step 3: Bring your mind back to your breath when it wanders.
Mindfulness Meditation Easy Steps: How To Meditate In 10 Easy Steps
Here’s a 3-minute complete session of mindfulness meditation in 10 easy steps:
1. Find a place where you can sit for 3 minutes without distractions. Sit up straight on a chair or a cushion.
2. Let your body settle into a comfortable position. Shake your shoulders and take a few deep breaths to activate your vagus nerve.
3. Once your body is relaxed, close your eyes. Take a few more deep breaths to let your mind relax some more and release stress.
4. Now, with your sense of touch, start noticing your body’s grounding. Feel the points of contact between you and your seat.
5. Find out what else can you notice about your body. How does the surrounding temperature feel? Does your body have some dull aches in some areas, like your shoulders or neck? Slowly tune into what’s going on inside you. Notice the aching areas with compassion, not criticism or apathy.
6. You will have many distracting thoughts at this point, which is natural. The mind chatter is bound to get louder when your conscious activities stop. You may feel some discomfort. Let the discomfort happen but keep your eyes shut.
7. Hold on to your meditative state. Let the thoughts bounce around. When you have noticed them all, there will be tranquility. Praise yourself for being able to patiently sit through your mental chatter.
8. Keep breathing in and out consciously. Remain mindful and increase your self-awareness. Keep noticing the appearance and disappearance of thoughts without judgment.
This is what mindfulness meditation is all about—allowing everything in your inner world to happen and then letting them go without judging or holding.
As a long-term mindfulness meditation practitioner, I can tell you that disturbing memories do arise during practice. Here’s what I say to myself when such thoughts appear:
I’m acknowledging this memory. This is a natural part of meditation and it’s okay to have these thoughts and feelings.
I’m observing the memory without judgment or attachment. I’m focusing on the physical sensations in my body that arise as a result of the memory, noticing the tension and unease.
By observing these sensations without judgment, I am beginning to disentangle myself from the memory and see it as a passing thought or emotion.
I feel kindness and compassion for myself during this difficult moment. I realize that it’s human to feel the way I feel and that I’m trying my best at this moment. “Dear (my name), it’s okay to feel this way. You are doing the best that you can.”
I am letting go of the memory. I am refocusing my attention on my breath and re-grounding myself in the present moment. I notice the sensation of my breath moving in and out of my body. I am anchoring my attention to my breath.
9. Keep your eyes closed and gradually let your awareness expand and embrace the space around your body. Feel the air and sense the sounds around you, like the humming of a fan or the ticking of a clock. Notice them and let them be, without trying to change anything.
If your mind wanders, and it will, don’t blame it or shame yourself. Simply request your mind to return to your breath. It may happen a few times, and every time you have to ask it gently to go back to focusing on your inhale and exhale.
A mind in meditation that keeps wandering does not mean you have failed at meditation. Meditation is not forcing control over your runaway mind. Rather, it is gently showing it where it must be, each time you notice it has wandered off, again and again.
10. Finally, begin to return your focus to the real world. Roll your shoulders and wiggle your fingers and toes to become more and more aware of your physical sensations. Slowly open your eyes to the world around you.
Carry this awareness of the present moment with you and enjoy the rest of your beautiful day.
Come back to it every day. Your meditation becomes a simple practice when you turn it into a habit and make it a part of your daily routine.
[Find out how you can build any habit using psychology.]
How To Sit For Mindfulness Meditation
1. Find a quiet spot to meditate, especially if you’re new to meditation and are easily bothered by outside noises.
2. If you can’t get away from a noisy environment, convince yourself that those sounds will only enhance your practice and help you go deeper inside yourself. It won’t be easy at first, but those noises will start to disturb you less.
3. Meditate at the same time and in the same place every day until it becomes an automatic habit. Make it a point to do it every day at the same time so that your body starts to crave for it, much like the dogs of Pavlov.
4. Find a comfortable seat. It may be a chair, a bed, or a cushion on the floor. In the beginning, sit against a wall or your bed’s headboard to keep your back supported and straight.
5. Mindfulness meditation demands a straight-back posture because it helps the lungs stay in a state where they may expand to their full capacity. A hunched posture prevents it.
6. In the rare condition, you cannot sit, adopt a lying posture with your back touching the floor.
7. Keep your upper arms beside your trunk and let your hands rest loosely on your lap.
8. Drop your chin slightly and keep your eyes ‘looking’ up, behind closed eyelids. Let your tongue gently rest on your palate.
9. Feel your breath. Feel your belly rise as you inhale deeply and fall as you exhale fully.
10. It is our mind’s nature to wander from the task at hand, mostly when it finds the task boring or difficult.
Of course, mindfulness meditation is difficult at the start. So, as you sit, be prepared with the knowledge that your mind will wander.
Remember, you can’t fail at mindfulness. Because the moment you realize your mind has wandered, you have noticed its shift from the present task to an imagined task. It’s not failing.
When your mind wanders away from where you want it to be, gently invite it to return to your breath. Every time it happens, urge it to come back without criticizing or chastising it for losing focus.
Sitting for a meditation session every day may seem hard at first. Tell yourself that it will only take 3 minutes of your day. As you persist with it, it becomes easier to invite yourself into a practice of mindfulness meditation.
Finally, don’t try too hard. When we stop chasing the mindful state with all our might, and instead, let go of the struggle to settle into meditation, it alights on us.
Read these positive mindfulness quotes to get inspired
How To Bring More Mindfulness Into Life Without Meditating
You can bring more mindfulness into your daily life by being mindful without meditating.
Almost any task you do in a day, you can do it mindfully.
- Whether it is brushing your teeth, sitting around, having your lunch, talking to friends, staring at the autumn clouds, or doing gentle exercises like walking or yoga, you may do them all with more mindfulness.
- You can practice mindfulness by simply being aware of your thoughts, reactions, emotions, and feelings at various points during your day. From time to time, ask yourself, “What is that emotion that I am feeling now?”
- Stopping to smell the roses is a mindful activity. So is practicing slow eating. And so is taking off your shoes and socks and feeling the ground.
- Taking just 10 seconds to take in two deep breaths while telling yourself you are letting go of your stress is another easy mindful act.
- Mindfulness is also in taking a pause before saying something or reacting to someone’s behavior.
Even if we are too busy to meditate, we may practice mindfulness if we learn to incorporate it into our daily lives. Mindful eating, mindful walking, and mindful writing are three ways to be mindful without meditating.
Did you know that hugging a cow has become a form of healing meditation?
Why do I jolt when meditating?
Jerking during meditation can be produced by the body’s parasympathetic nervous system activating, which relaxes the blood vessel walls, resulting in a drop in blood pressure and body temperature. Involuntary jerks may also be caused by an improper breathing technique.
Mindfulness = Non-judgmental Awareness of The Present
Meditation is not about changing or anything. It is about embracing your underlying troubling issues in a non-judgmental way. The benefits come later when you have learned to accept things as they are.
Wellness Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation may help you lower stress and high blood pressure, sleep better, feel more work-life balance, and reduce risks of heart and mind illnesses.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental health, happiness, mindfulness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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