Trying a Short Mindfulness Meditation
Part of the Mindfulness For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)
Your capacity to be mindful is most powerfully developed through mindfulness meditation. One of the most popular mindfulness meditations is mindfulness of breath. This involves being mindfully aware of your breath. Follow these steps to try mindfulness meditation out for yourself:
Be aware of the sense of your own breathing. You don’t need to change the rate of your breath. Just feel the physical sensation of your breath entering and leaving the body.
You can feel the breath in the nose, the throat, the chest or down in your belly. If possible, try and feel the breath in the belly as it’s more grounding and is more likely to make you feel relaxed.
When your mind wonders off into thoughts, bring your attention back. It is the nature of thoughts to take your attention away from whatever you want to focus on, and into thoughts about the past or future, worries or dreams. Don’t worry about it.
As soon as you realise that you’ve been thinking about something else, notice what you were thinking about, and gently guide your attention back to your breath. You don’t need to criticise yourself.
That’s it. Mindfulness of breath is as simple as that. Bring a sense of the mindful attitudes to your experience such as curiosity, kindness and acceptance. You can do this exercise for as short as a minute, or as long as an hour.