Seems everybody is meditating these days.
You know it’s good for you. You know it could bring some tranquility to your crazy life.
So you tried it.
It probably went something like this:
Ommmmmmmmm, this is awesome I’m so proud of myself for sitting down and doing this.
Deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth.
Wow, that was a really loud motorcycle that went past the house.
What are we going to have for dinner tonight?
Let it go.
My sister was kind of a jerk last time I saw her.
Stop it, keep your focus.
I think I have BO. I hope I didn’t smell this bad all day.
Damnit, stop it!
Ugggg can it be over now?
Damn, it was harder than you thought.
If you gave up, or if you struggle to meditate this will help.
Here are four mindfulness hacks for you to have a more pleasant meditation experience.
The pre-steps, however, are equally important for your comfort and feeling of success.
- Sit comfortably. Your muscles should be able to be relaxed. Although I don’t suggest lying down because you’ll fall asleep.
2. Check the temperature. It will be a distraction if you begin to feel too hot or too cold. A shawl is helpful for this, as you can easily adjust it.
3. Wait an hour after eating, but also don’t let yourself be hungry.
4. Empty your bladder.
Okay, you’re ready to start. After you settle into your meditation space, follow this sequence:
- Focus on the Present.
Before you try to go deep and clear your thoughts, simply focus on the present.
This means focus on the environment around you. Acknowledge you hear some noises. What does the surface feel like where you’re seated? Recognize the temperature of the room
Be ok with some noise or discomfort. They can coexist with you as you meditate. Don’t give them any meaning or significance.
2. Focus on body sensations.
You’ll turn inward for this one.
Get as comfortable as you can, and if you still have some tension or discomfort in your body, just recognize it and be ok with it.
What sensations do you feel in and on your body?
Your stomach is going to make noise, you may have to sneeze or clear your throat. Let it just be.
3. Focus on your breath.
Take 5–6 abdominal breaths.
Belly breathing triggers a parasympathetic response. Think of the parasympathetic response as the opposite of the fight or flight response. It settles you down.
Place one hand on your belly just beneath your ribs.
Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Keep your chest as still as you can.
Breath out slowly through pursed lips, like you were going to whistle, but don’t make the noise. Feel the hand on your belly go down.
Breath out longer than you breath in. Strive for a 2–1 ratio.
4. Focus on a meditation object.
Focusing on an object is a lot easier than creating empty space in your mind. Things have a way of pouring in to fill a void.
Here are some suggestions:
Count your breaths. In is 1 and out is 2. Or count breaths up to 5 then start back at 1 again.
Bring your attention to the tips of your middle fingers.
Use a mantra, or a word you repeat on each breath out. Try the word love, thank you, peace, or breathe.
Hold prayer beads in your hands.
Make meditation work for you.
Make it feel right for you.
Even a few minutes of meditation gives benefits. I’d rather see you do 5 minutes of meditation each day than try to meditate for an hour and give up on it.
Like anything, when you first start, your skills are shaky. You’re going to feel like you’re not very good at it. No one’s watching, so who cares.
You’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes easier for you.
You deserve genuine and lifelong happiness, the type of happiness that can’t be taken away from you no matter what sort of craziness is happening in the world. Read my book, Happy Ever After. We can all use that right now.
Visit me at www.christinebradstreet.com
all images open source from Pixabay.com