• Health

Beginner's guide to mindful meditation

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There are many reasons to start meditating, but one of the primary reasons people do it is to release stress.

Stress has become one of the most impactful factors on health and well-being.

Stress can be a sneaky little fella because it is experienced at both a conscious and subconscious level.

Stress also hinders to the natural flow of creativity and our ability to solve problems.

Writers call this phenomenon, "writer's block;” athletes call it "choking under pressure;” employees call it being "burnt out;” and parents may call it "going crazy.

Because stress is so ubiquitous we tend to underestimate its profound effects it has in our lives and, as a result, we learn to live with it.

Mindful meditation can help ease the effects of both unconscious and conscious stress and bring us more deeply in touch with our inner selves.

Through meditation we become more comfortable shedding light on suppressed thoughts and emotions.

When we practice meditation regularly, the mere act of observing our thoughts and emotions becomes a relaxing experience.

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As humans we flee from pain and pursue pleasure. But that impulse doesn’t always lead us to the where we really want to be.

Meditation allows us to bring negative emotions to the present moment and dissolve them through the power of now.

In mindful meditation, we don't judge emotions as good or bad, we simply accept them.

This runs counterintuitive to our impulse to resist painful or negative emotions, but in accepting our emotions, we allow the body to process what's going on and thus release those feelings.

When we resist or ignore painful emotions, however, our body responds with stress. Stress is actually your body asking you to slow down and let it process life. Be present.


Want to try meditation? Here’s an exercise just for beginners!

Remember, meditation is a practice, which means you become better the more you do it.

You can also seek out classes and teachers in your local area if you feel that you need more guidance.

1. It all starts with the breath

Take 10 deep breaths that last five seconds on the inhale, five seconds holding the breath in, and five seconds on the exhale. After you’ve taken 10 breaths like this, just become aware of your breath’s natural rhythm.

**2. Become aware of whatever you are lying or sitting on **

Notice the texture and notice the pressure it causes against your body. Simply observe it.

3. Become aware of the quietest sound in the room

If you are in a place where there's plenty of noise, become aware of the smallest sound. By becoming aware of the quietest sound you essentially become aware of the "nothingness" in the room.

**5. If your eyes are open, become aware of the empty space in the room **

Allow yourself to notice the nothingness in the room. Also become aware of the different colors and see the whole picture as the observer. Notice the contrast between the light and the shadows.

6. If a thought comes into your mind, that’s OK

Try not to get frustrated. Frustration is resistance to the moment and resistance causes stress. Just be the observer of your thoughts; view them as if you're viewing the clouds passing by.

**7. Focus your attention on how you feel inside **

If you feel sad, be aware of that feeling and allow yourself to feel the full range of that emotion. Bring that feeling to the present moment. Don't judge it. If you feel nothing, become aware of the nothingness.

This last step lets you release negative energy. In being aware of what you feel, you'll be able to allow the present moment to dissolve it.

It’s important to remember to focus on emotions rather than thoughts. For example, if you have a thought that causes you sadness, just focus on the emotion of sadness.

Thought is the energizer of your emotions. Thoughts use the past and the future to energize emotions, but by focusing on the present moment, you can defuse negative emotions.

Do these 7 steps for about 10 minutes twice a day. I prefer to meditate in the morning and the evening as a way to start and end my day mindfully, but there’s no right time.

Stat mindful!

Web Designer and Blogger. Basketball, meditation, designing and writing are my hobbies. Find me here.