Meditation is the cornerstone of practicing mindfulness. Just 10 minutes of meditation a day will support all of your other daily mindfulness habits, as meditation is a form of strength training for your mind.
When practicing meditation, the goal is to observe the patterns and habits of your mind and learn to tame the constant chattering of your thoughts. Over time you’ll find it easier to gain control over your thoughts, rather than allowing your thoughts to control you and your emotions.
There is more than one way to meditate. What’s right for you may not be for someone else. Check out the various techniques listed below and give each a try.
MANTRA MEDITATION This is an excellent practice for beginners. Mantras are powerful tools for the mind. Mantras replace thinking to help keep you focused. Think about how songs can trigger specific emotional responses. The same is true for all sound. Sound patterns affect the water in your body, hormone secretion, cognition, behavior, and psychological well-being.
To practice this form of meditation, sit in a comfortable, quiet space where you will remain undisturbed for 10 minutes. Take several slow deep breaths then repeat your selected mantra. If you find your thoughts wandering, gently turn your attention back to your breath and chosen mantra.
You can use any meaningful word or phrase as a mantra. From a biblical passage to an empowering quote, the mantra you choose is up to you.
BODY SCAN MEDITATION This practice of meditation encourages you to scan your body for areas of tension. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release. You typically want to start at one end of the body, the head or feet, and move in the opposite direction to work through the whole body. Some people find it easier to intentionally tense and then relax the muscles throughout the scan.
BREATH AWARENESS MEDITATION This type of meditation encourages mindful breathing to help reduce anxiety, improved concentration, and foster greater emotional flexibility.
The goal is to focus only on breathing and ignore thoughts that come in. Many find it helpful to count the breath. For example, count to 8 as you inhale, hold for a count of 4, then exhale for 8. You can shorten or lengthen counts according to your ability. Over time, you will be able to increase your range.