Categories
Medicines-and-Drugs

How to do mindful meditation

Mindfulness meditation practice couldn’t be simpler: take a good seat, pay attention to the breath, and when your attention wanders, return.

  • By Mindful Staff
  • October 18, 2019
  • Meditation

How to do mindful meditationMicroOne/Adobe Stock

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

It’s not all in your head—you can practice mindfulness by sitting down for a formal meditation practice, or by being more intentional and aware of the things you do each day.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness and how to practice mindfulness meditation, visit our Getting Started page.

How to Practice Mindfulness on the Go

Nearly every task we perform in a day—be it brushing our teeth, eating lunch, talking with friends or exercising—can be done more mindfully.

When we are mindful of our actions, we pay more attention to what we are doing. It’s the opposite of going through the motions—instead, you are tuned into your senses, noticing your thoughts and emotions.

By building mindfulness into your daily life, you can practice mindfulness even when you’re too busy to meditate.

Learning How to Meditate

At the outset, it helps to set an amount of time you’re going to “practice” for. Otherwise, you may obsess about deciding when to stop. If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as five or ten minutes. Eventually, you can build up to twice as long, then maybe up to 45 minutes or an hour. Use a kitchen timer or the timer on your phone. Many people do a session in the morning and in the evening, or one or the other. If you feel your life is busy and you have little time, doing some is better than doing none. When you get a little space and time, you can do a bit more.

Find a good spot in your home, ideally where there isn’t too much clutter and you can find some quiet. Leave the lights on or sit in natural light. You can even sit outside if you like, but choose a place with little distraction.

This posture practice can be used as the beginning stage of a period of meditation practice or simply as something to do for a minute, maybe to stabilize yourself and find a moment of relaxation before going back into the fray. If you have injuries or other physical difficulties, you can modify this practice to suit your situation.

How to Sit for Mindfulness Meditation

  1. Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
  2. Notice what your legs are doing. If on a cushion on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead.) If on a chair, it’s good if the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
  3. Straighten—but don’t stiffen—your upper body. The spine has natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
  4. Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You’re tuning the strings of your body—not too tight and not too loose.
  5. Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
  6. Be there for a few moments. Relax. Bring your attention to your breath or the sensations in your body.
  7. Feel your breath—or some say “follow” it—as it goes out and as it goes in. (Some versions of this practice put more emphasis on the outbreath, and for the inbreath you simply leave a spacious pause.) Either way, draw your attention to the physical sensation of breathing: the air moving through your nose or mouth, the rising and falling of your belly, or your chest. Choose your focal point, and with each breath, you can mentally note “breathing in” and “breathing out.”
  8. Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. Don’t worry. There’s no need to block or eliminate thinking. When you get around to noticing your mind wandering—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—just gently return your attention to the breath.
  9. Practice pausing before making any physical adjustments, such as moving your body or scratching an itch. With intention, shift at a moment you choose, allowing space between what you experience and what you choose to do.
  10. You may find your mind wandering constantly—that’s normal, too. Instead of wrestling with or engaging with those thoughts as much, practice observing without needing to react. Just sit and pay attention. As hard as it is to maintain, that’s all there is. Come back over and over again without judgment or expectation.
  11. When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions. Pausing for a moment, decide how you’d like to continue on with your day.

That’s it. That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.

Read More

How to do mindful meditation

How Do I Bring More Mindfulness Into My Life?

A simple guide to be mindful throughout the day—whether you’re washing the dishes, eating a snack, or sitting down to meditate. Read More

  • JEFFREY BRANTLEY
  • JANUARY 24, 2019

How to do mindful meditation

What is Mindfulness?

Are you supposed to clear your mind, or focus on one thing? Here’s the Mindful definition of Mindfulness. Read More

  • Mindful Staff
  • July 8, 2020

May 5, 2019 9:00 AM EST | 6 min read

Take Control of Your Inner Distractions

All day we are bombarded with the temptation to be distracted by technology, people, and especially by ourselves. Do you have dozens of thoughts running through your head throughout the day? Are you even aware that you do this?

  • Oh! I need to pick up groceries.
  • Oh! I need to think about what I will cook for dinner.
  • Oh! I need to send that email!

When we break our focus, even on something small, we lose momentum on the task that we were working on. Being present in the moment allows you to be aware of your surroundings, but NOT let them distract you.

Studying mindfulness meditation techniques will flex your mental muscles and teach you how to be present. When you are present, you can focus your mental energy on a task or situation. You train yourself to treat mental and physical stimuli as neither good nor bad – they simply are.

How to do mindful meditation

Mindfulness Meditation Basics

Mindfulness refers to the ability to step away from the current situation and observe what is happening, but without judging or interacting with it. It requires that you be present in the moment; NOT in the past, NOT in the future.

If you don’t have any experience with mindfulness or meditation, don’t worry! As you read this meditation guide, we will detail the basics to help you go from a head full of angry buzzing ideas, to a head full of clarity and decisiveness.

When You Think You Are Multitasking, You Are Actually More Likely to Build Anxiety!

This is a principal that applies all throughout life: from work, learning, to skateboarding, even talking to the opposite sex. Think about the last time you went up to talk to a cute guy/girl. Instead of being present in the moment, did you start thinking of all the past times you said the wrong thing and were rejected? If so, I bet that interaction didn’t go well.

The practice of mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now. You are training yourself to be present in the moment, NOT thinking about the past or future. When problems arise, you can block out distractions and crush your tasks.

Ditch The Clichés

“Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind. But actually, it’s about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going.”

Andy Puddicombe

It is common for people to have an image in their head of someone who meditates: a bald man in a robe, sitting on a cliff, who spent a decade developing his ability to sit still. In fact, the truth is quite different.

Learning to meditate is not as difficult as you think. You can practice any time during the day. Simply take a few moments and focus on your surroundings (sights, sounds, smells) and your thoughts.

Here’s something you will probably find counterintuitive to your idea of mindfulness meditation: don’t try to stop thoughts and “force” a clear mind. Let thoughts arise, but don’t chase or interact with them. Simply let them be. Imagine little balloons rising past you. If you don’t try to grab a balloon, it will eventually float away into the distance.

You will feel tense at first, but gradually the tension will subside!

For more inspiration, we also have a collection of thoughtful meditation quotes. Don’t forget to check that out.

How To Do Mindfulness Meditation

Here is a simple 10-minute mindfulness meditation exercise for you to start improving your mental clarity, which will translate into sharper problem-solving and decision-making skills:

  • Start a timer for 10 minutes and sit upright (a chair or on the floor is fine).
  • Close your eyes and try to identify any sounds and smells in the room for a few minutes.
  • Now imagine scanning from your head to your toes and try to mentally check in with each body part.
  • Start counting your breaths at your normal breathing pace.
  • Once you reach 10 breaths, start over at 1.
  • After a few minutes, let your mind wander and do not judge – remember the balloons!
  • When the timer goes off, slowly bring your focus back to yourself, the room around you, and then open your eyes.

Boom! Done.

If you can practice that a few times per week, you will feel your mental muscles become more limber. Don’t think you’re going to become an emotionless robot. Now, when something stressful is happening, you can observe the situation without judging or feeling emotionally tied.

What Does It All Mean?

Imagine that you stepped into a puddle. The awareness that your foot is now wet does NOT make your foot suddenly dry. But with your new mindfulness meditation skills, you acknowledge the situation and move forward to find a remedy – without drowning in a flood of thoughts on why you shouldn’t have stepped in that puddle.

Great! Now you know how to be present in the moment. When you see that cute guy/girl, your focus will be on the present, your anxiety will fade away, and you will come across as cool, confident, and successful. When your deadline is approaching and your resources are running low, you won’t let your emotions fog your mental clarity.

Conclusion

It feels awkward at first, but every skill requires investment. If you want to get good at doing pull ups, guess what: you have to do more pull ups. If you want to train your mind to resist distraction and remain focused on what is happening in the present, you have to practice it.

You may encounter a sticking point while you develop this skill. Don’t worry; it is part of the process! If you find yourself meditating and suddenly you’re running after a series of thoughts, acknowledge it and then bring the focus back to the present moment.

“The moment you realize you are not present, you are present”Eckhart Tolle

You are training yourself to allow thoughts and emotions to arise, but without chasing them or judging them. Thoughts simply are. Imagine you’re sitting on a bench watching traffic. As the cars drive by, stay seated. Do not run after the cars; acknowledge them and let them pass.

Use mindfulness meditation and be the blade of grass in the wind. You have the mental strength and flexibility to bend, but not break.

How does meditation benefit your life? Did you encounter a sticking point along the way? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Everyday Power ► Personal Development Articles ► How To Do Mindfulness Meditation To Reduce Distractions

May 19, 2020 4 min read

How to Do Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety: 6 Steps

Is anxiety taking over your life? If your stress and worries are getting the better of you and won’t just go away, it’s time to act. And mindfulness meditation can help you with that.

In this guide, learn how to do mindfulness meditation for anxiety in six steps.

How Mindfulness Meditation Helps Anxiety

Mindfulness meditation is all about having present-focused awareness. But how does this exactly help with your anxiety?

Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains that mindfulness meditation trains you to handle unproductive thoughts entirely differently.

She explained that people with anxiety can’t distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry. This nagging worry about the past or the future becomes a distracting thought that controls our lives.

With such worries, we tend to react instinctively.

For instance, your partner snapped at you yesterday. Your initial response is to get hurt by the action, and you blame yourself thinking you might have done something to upset him.

Unaware of the present moment, this caused you to respond based on impulse. But mindfulness teaches differently.

A mindful person would reflect rather than react in an uncomfortable situation. This is because mindfulness enables us to respond to anxiety with the awareness of what’s happening in the present moment.

Going back to the scenario, if you are aware of the present time, you might remember that your partner mentioned having troubles at work. You realize that it’s not really your fault that he was upset yesterday.

See the difference?

When you’re living ‘at the moment,’ you get to see things from a different perspective. And this new interpretation lets you ease your worries, better managing anxiety.

6 Steps to Do Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety

How to do mindful meditation

It’s proven that practicing mindfulness meditation helps ease anxiety. But how can you do it? Here, we’ll walk you through six steps on how to do mindfulness meditation for anxiety.

Step 1: Find a comfortable position

Find a quiet area in your home where you can meditate.

Then, find a comfortable position. You can do a mindfulness meditation in a seated, standing, or even lying down position.

The goal is for you to be comfortable enough without your body becoming too distracting (i.e., your muscles cramping up for sitting too long). Also, your body should not be too at ease that might make you feel sleepy.

When meditating, remember that you can shift your position when you get uncomfortable.

Step 2: Begin a breathing exercise

Once comfortable, close your eyes and breathe.

Very gently, withdraw your attention from your thoughts and focus it on your breathing. Feel your chest rise and fall, being mindful of the breath as it enters and exits your body.

Breathe in and breathe out, noticing the sensation as your body expand and contract.

Your mind may wander. Simply bring your focus back to your breath.

Step 3: Feel your body

Now, gently withdraw your attention from your breathing and feel into your body. Can you feel those sensations? Are you having some thoughts and feeling some emotions?

Let them be, but acknowledge all those experiences.

Step 4: Acknowledge your thoughts

As you feel into your body, you may feel your anxiety increasing. You may start having doubts and fears.

“Am I doing this right?”

“What should I do next?”

Don’t suppress your thoughts and emotions. Rather, recognize those worries, fears, and doubts. Bring your attention to what you’re thinking and feeling now, and let them all pass.

Doing so will teach you how to deal with uncomfortable thoughts without reacting. Rather, you become more reflective in the face of worries.

Feeling into the anxiety and recognizing it may let you discover the underlying causes of your fears and worries. And with it, you’ll begin to feel less anxious and become more at peace.

Step 5: Finish your meditation

As you acknowledge your thoughts, gently withdraw from the mindful state you are in and shift your focus back to your breathing.

Inhale and exhale.

Stay at the moment and be aware of your breaths.

As you breathe in and breathe out, picture your anxiety as clouds flying by in the sky. Like the clouds, your fears, worries, and doubts will all come to pass.

Focus on your breathing, and then gradually withdraw from your meditation.

Step 6: Practice consistently

When you first started meditating, you may find sitting in silence to be a more challenging task than it looks. Also, you may not immediately feel your anxiety easing after your first session.

At this point, remember that mindfulness meditation requires consistent practice.

Most mindfulness benefits take several weeks, months, or even years to notice an improvement. Like any skill, you need to continue practicing to reap the rewards.

Meditate for a few minutes every day to develop a more regular and familiar practice. Then, gradually increase your time spent on meditation each day.

Tips to Improve Your Mindfulness Meditation

How to do mindful meditation

Practicing mindfulness meditation? Here are some tips to ensure you are having a smooth experience as you begin on a deep journey into your thoughts.

  • Meditate at different times of the day. You may find meditation in the morning helps to prepare your mind for the whole day. Or doing it at night may give you a better night’s rest. Try meditating at different times of the day and see what works best for you.
  • Find your own meditation style. For some, meditating doesn’t have to be in pure silence. A few individuals find listening to mindfulness meditation music makes them feel more peaceful and relaxed. The point is: there is not one meditation style that suits everyone. Meditating is a matter of preferences, and it’s about you finding your own style that keeps you comfortable and focused.
  • Time your practice.Sometimes, thinking about the time passed can get you distracted from meditating. If this is the case, consider using a timer. Alternatively, you may time your meditation with the number of songs you choose from your playlist.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation Now

Learning how to do mindfulness meditation for anxiety can be a life-changing experience. While it can be challenging at first, it’s a proven way to help slow down your racing thoughts so you can make your mind at ease.

Start your meditation practice today and reap its rewards soon.

How to Do Mindfulness Meditation: Doing meditation is one of the sure shot ways to have that mental peace and clarity you always crave. In the modern chaotic times, there is a lot of stress and tension in minds of people. Chronic stress among most corporate people is on a rise which has paved way for all kinds of diseases.

Even by doing meditation for 5 minutes, you can get immense relief from the constant chatter of the mind and stressful situations. In fact, being mindful in any activity for a brief period of time may give you a profound feeling of calm and serenity.

Mindfulness meditation is one of the types of meditation that is not only easy to learn and do but also gives immense benefits. However, a question arises How to do Mindfulness Meditation?

Today, I am going to tell you the simplest way to start doing mindfulness meditation right away. It is one of the best ways to do mindfulness meditation for beginners. This technique of meditation is known as mindfulness of breathing.

In fact, you can set aside 2 minutes immediately after reading this article and try to practice mindfulness meditation.

How To Do Mindfulness Meditation With Your Breath

– Sit comfortably with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. You can even lie down but there is a chance that you may fell asleep.

– Inhale deeply with your nose feeling the air into your lungs as your stomach rises. Do this for a count of 3-5 and hold on for a couple of seconds at max. Then gently begin to exhale the air from nostrils to a count of 8-10. Your aim should be to have an exhalation longer than the period of inhalation for the proper expulsion of CO2.

– Have 8-10 deep breaths with each breath like above. This breathing exercise is essential before doing meditation of any type as it will relax your body and make you centered .

– After breathing, close your eyes (you can keep your eyes open but it may lead to distractions).

-Now, start focussing on your breath. Just be aware of the inhalation and exhalation. Do not breath forcefully or intentionally, just breathe normally like you do. You only have to be aware of: “I am inhaling now, and exhaling” “Breathe in, breathe out”.

-Feel the air entering into your nostrils and see where it ends. Feel the air moving out leaving out. Notice your stomach rising and falling as you breathe.

(Now before you read further, just set a timer for 1-2 minutes and do the above procedure of observing breath. Just be mindful of your breath. Start now)

– Initially, you may notice that there are a lot of thoughts that will enter your mind and take your focus away from breath. Just observe them without reacting or getting involved with them. Bring your focus back to your breath. Breathe In. Breathe Out.

– If you find yourself carried away with thoughts and realize you are no longer focussing on the breath. Congratulations. You have started being mindful. Do not worry and just bring back your focus to your breath. Breathe In . Breathe Out.

– You may also have thoughts like “Why Am I doing This? This makes no sense. This is stupid.” Just observe them and let them go and bring back your focus on the breath. Breathe In. Breathe Out.

-Initially start with as low as 2 minutes a day. The ideal time to do this is to immediately after waking up and before going to sleep. You can gradually increase the time as you become more accustomed to the process.

– As you practice doing it regularly, even for 5-10 minutes daily, you will begin to sense a feeling of peace and calm which stays with you throughout the day. You will be more aware of your emotions, thoughts, and surroundings. You will be mindful.

The above activity is one of the easiest mindfulness meditation exercises for beginners that you can try anytime. This is just one type of mindfulness meditation i.e, breathing mindfulness. The mindfulness of breathing is the simplest as breathing is a natural activity for which you do not have to consciously do anything.

You can be mindful of any activity you are doing. So, you can be mindful of eating paying attention to the taste of food with all five senses. You can even learn how to do mindfulness meditation while you are walking, cleaning, and basically anything.

If you think about it, being mindful is essentially engaging all your senses in the present moment so you are fully immersed in present rather than past or future. You can also learn the art of how to do mindfulness meditation by observing babies or kids when they are totally immersed in the moment.

How to do mindful meditation

If you go deeper, you may begin to wonder if there is any difference between mindfulness and meditation. And you are not alone to think that!

You can read here in detail about the difference between mindfulness and meditation.

Nevertheless, it is not necessary to get confused with definitions and technical terms. After all, the key is to get a break from incessant chatter of the mind and see your thoughts as separate from yourself.

So, just set aside 10-20 minutes per day (preferably two times) to practice mindfulness of breathing. You will begin to notice a sense of calm and peace and then you can move towards other meditation practices such as Vipassana Meditation. Do not forget to share your experiences of doing breathing mindfulness meditation in the comments section below. Meanwhile, if you love cats (who doesn’t anyway), you’d also like to check out this Karma Kitties cat meditation video!

“Only that day dawns to which we are awake” – Thoreau

How to do mindful meditation

There are numerous perspectives on how to do mindfulness meditation, but we will discuss four easy ones here.

You will find them highly effective and beneficial in coping with difficult situations.

Mindfulness meditation training disciplines the mind to stay in the present moment.

It sounds simple enough to do, but if you have ever tried doing it, you will know how difficult it can be.

Our mind is a powerful entity, and in its current state of carefree abandon, way beyond our ability to control. It takes us where it pleases, when it pleases and we are nothing but slaves to its wishes.

Have you ever noticed how you get led by your mind every waking moment? The habit is so ingrained that we seldom even notice it.

This unconscious capitulation to the mind is the greatest disease afflicting humanity today.

We get forced into living in the past or in the future. Never in the present, in the Now.

Every such moment of living unconsciously, of ‘being unaware,’ not only sows the seeds of future suffering, but also diminishes our experience of the present moment.

In each moment of desire, or lust, or anger, or hate, or irritation, we, inevitably, become victims of living mindlessly.

Our habitual, unexamined reactions to life situations imprison us and we get mercilessly shoved around by our own desires and aversions, making us totally miserable.

Practicing mindfulness frees us of the afflictions arising out of the mind’s constant chatter by allowing us to center ourselves in the present moment.

Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness in one’s day-to-day life, maintaining, as much as possible, a calm awareness of one’s bodily functions, sensations, objects of consciousness, and consciousness itself.

Mindful awareness gives us the ability to slow down and watch in third person the incessant stream of thoughts and emotions in our mind.

It lets us see a desire as desire, anger as anger, fear as fear, craving as craving, pain as pain, even a thought as thought, and is profoundly liberating.

Every moment, mindfully lived, opens the door to a great transformation.

Use these different takes on how to do mindfulness meditation to strengthen your meditation practice:

Remember that we either live mindfully or mindlessly. Each moment missed is a moment unlived. For mindlessness is neither innocent nor quaint, but is outright harmful to ourselves and to those with whom we come in contact.

So make an effort to live mindfully moment-to-moment.

How to do mindful meditation

Get my book, Meditation-Hacker: 7 Ancient Secrets to Crack the Inner-Bliss Code and receive valuable information on meditation that you can use to improve the quality of your health and life.

How to do mindful meditation
Mindful Meditation has been used by the Eastern world for years to hack emotional intelligence. Silicon Valley mega-companies such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook find it to be a crucial way to spike creativity and calm the mind. Google has had over 1,000 employees take courses offered in-house on meditation. Now entrepreneurs and high performers all over the world are looking to meditation to get the edge in their career or their industry.

Why Mindful Meditation?
Due to the vast amount of stimulus in the modern world, humans need a way to shut down the chatter upstairs – especially entrepreneurs and executives.

Think about it…
You sit down at your desk….emails are rolling in, the phone is ringing on your desk, a new text just comes through, calendar reminders pop up…OH and don’t forget Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…You get the point.

With all of this stimulus, the brain goes into overdrive and it doesn’t take much to drive us into the sympathetic “flight or flight” response. From here, our focus, creativity, and drive go out the window. Meditation will help get your brain back into a parasympathetic state, allowing for better performance, execution, strategic though, and over-all wellbeing.

Let’s Look at the Research
There is exciting research rolling out every day on the neurological benefits of mediation, confirmed by EEG and MRI. The University of California Los Angeles found that meditation helps preserve the aging brain. People who have meditated for an average of 20 years had more gray matter volume in their brain than those who did not. Florian Kurth, the doctor who performed the study, stated, “…what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

Yale University studies have found that meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN) in the brain. The DMN is the network in the brain responsible for “monkey mind” or “mind wondering”; when your thoughts aren’t focused and you find your brain floundering from thought-to-thought. Meditation will fast-track you towards more focus.

A John Hopkins’ review of study found that meditation has the ability to reduce depression, anxiety, and pain.

Sara Lazar from Harvard University found that mindful meditation can actually change the structure of the brain. Within just eight weeks of mindful meditation, Lazar and her team of researchers found an increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which is responsible for emotional regulation, learning and memory. There was a decrease in the cell volume in the amygdala, the area of the brain responsible for fear, anxiety and stress. The participants reported an overall increase in mood and wellbeing.

How to do Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation is how I learned to meditate, and it is a great way to start your day. Instead of reaching for your cell phone, see what happens when you set aside time to quiet your mind. Here’s what I do:

  1. Find a quiet room or place in nature. Take a seat, sitting up nice and straight. Put away all thoughts of the future and past.
  2. Become aware of your breathing, as air travels in and out of your body. Feel the air pass through your nose and into your lungs. Feel your belly rise and fall.
  3. Watch your thoughts pass through; thoughts of fear, anxiety or happiness should not be suppressed or ignored. Acknowledge your thoughts and keep breathing deeply. If you start going down rabbit trails of thought, go back to focusing on your deep breathing.
  4. After two minutes, start focusing on your surroundings. How do your hands feel? How does the breeze feel?

Begin doing mindful meditation for five minutes each morning, then graduate to 10, 15, even up to 30 minutes, if you have time.

Let me know how mindful meditation has changed your performance, focus, and overall well-being in the comments below. Want to know more about the mind. Click here!

May 19, 2020 4 min read

How to Do Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety: 6 Steps

Is anxiety taking over your life? If your stress and worries are getting the better of you and won’t just go away, it’s time to act. And mindfulness meditation can help you with that.

In this guide, learn how to do mindfulness meditation for anxiety in six steps.

How Mindfulness Meditation Helps Anxiety

Mindfulness meditation is all about having present-focused awareness. But how does this exactly help with your anxiety?

Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains that mindfulness meditation trains you to handle unproductive thoughts entirely differently.

She explained that people with anxiety can’t distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry. This nagging worry about the past or the future becomes a distracting thought that controls our lives.

With such worries, we tend to react instinctively.

For instance, your partner snapped at you yesterday. Your initial response is to get hurt by the action, and you blame yourself thinking you might have done something to upset him.

Unaware of the present moment, this caused you to respond based on impulse. But mindfulness teaches differently.

A mindful person would reflect rather than react in an uncomfortable situation. This is because mindfulness enables us to respond to anxiety with the awareness of what’s happening in the present moment.

Going back to the scenario, if you are aware of the present time, you might remember that your partner mentioned having troubles at work. You realize that it’s not really your fault that he was upset yesterday.

See the difference?

When you’re living ‘at the moment,’ you get to see things from a different perspective. And this new interpretation lets you ease your worries, better managing anxiety.

6 Steps to Do Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety

How to do mindful meditation

It’s proven that practicing mindfulness meditation helps ease anxiety. But how can you do it? Here, we’ll walk you through six steps on how to do mindfulness meditation for anxiety.

Step 1: Find a comfortable position

Find a quiet area in your home where you can meditate.

Then, find a comfortable position. You can do a mindfulness meditation in a seated, standing, or even lying down position.

The goal is for you to be comfortable enough without your body becoming too distracting (i.e., your muscles cramping up for sitting too long). Also, your body should not be too at ease that might make you feel sleepy.

When meditating, remember that you can shift your position when you get uncomfortable.

Step 2: Begin a breathing exercise

Once comfortable, close your eyes and breathe.

Very gently, withdraw your attention from your thoughts and focus it on your breathing. Feel your chest rise and fall, being mindful of the breath as it enters and exits your body.

Breathe in and breathe out, noticing the sensation as your body expand and contract.

Your mind may wander. Simply bring your focus back to your breath.

Step 3: Feel your body

Now, gently withdraw your attention from your breathing and feel into your body. Can you feel those sensations? Are you having some thoughts and feeling some emotions?

Let them be, but acknowledge all those experiences.

Step 4: Acknowledge your thoughts

As you feel into your body, you may feel your anxiety increasing. You may start having doubts and fears.

“Am I doing this right?”

“What should I do next?”

Don’t suppress your thoughts and emotions. Rather, recognize those worries, fears, and doubts. Bring your attention to what you’re thinking and feeling now, and let them all pass.

Doing so will teach you how to deal with uncomfortable thoughts without reacting. Rather, you become more reflective in the face of worries.

Feeling into the anxiety and recognizing it may let you discover the underlying causes of your fears and worries. And with it, you’ll begin to feel less anxious and become more at peace.

Step 5: Finish your meditation

As you acknowledge your thoughts, gently withdraw from the mindful state you are in and shift your focus back to your breathing.

Inhale and exhale.

Stay at the moment and be aware of your breaths.

As you breathe in and breathe out, picture your anxiety as clouds flying by in the sky. Like the clouds, your fears, worries, and doubts will all come to pass.

Focus on your breathing, and then gradually withdraw from your meditation.

Step 6: Practice consistently

When you first started meditating, you may find sitting in silence to be a more challenging task than it looks. Also, you may not immediately feel your anxiety easing after your first session.

At this point, remember that mindfulness meditation requires consistent practice.

Most mindfulness benefits take several weeks, months, or even years to notice an improvement. Like any skill, you need to continue practicing to reap the rewards.

Meditate for a few minutes every day to develop a more regular and familiar practice. Then, gradually increase your time spent on meditation each day.

Tips to Improve Your Mindfulness Meditation

How to do mindful meditation

Practicing mindfulness meditation? Here are some tips to ensure you are having a smooth experience as you begin on a deep journey into your thoughts.

  • Meditate at different times of the day. You may find meditation in the morning helps to prepare your mind for the whole day. Or doing it at night may give you a better night’s rest. Try meditating at different times of the day and see what works best for you.
  • Find your own meditation style. For some, meditating doesn’t have to be in pure silence. A few individuals find listening to mindfulness meditation music makes them feel more peaceful and relaxed. The point is: there is not one meditation style that suits everyone. Meditating is a matter of preferences, and it’s about you finding your own style that keeps you comfortable and focused.
  • Time your practice.Sometimes, thinking about the time passed can get you distracted from meditating. If this is the case, consider using a timer. Alternatively, you may time your meditation with the number of songs you choose from your playlist.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation Now

Learning how to do mindfulness meditation for anxiety can be a life-changing experience. While it can be challenging at first, it’s a proven way to help slow down your racing thoughts so you can make your mind at ease.

Start your meditation practice today and reap its rewards soon.

How to do Mindfulness Meditation? 16 Benefits of Mindfulness

Gautam Buddha taught many different types of meditation. Each have their different-different benefits. Mindfulness Meditation is the type of Buddhist Meditations.

First find a place which is not too noisy and crowded, where you will not get disturbed. Second wear something comfortable clothes. Too tight cloths will distract you.

For meditation your posture must be comfortable and relax. Seat in comfortable posture or pose. I prefer ‘Lotus pose’ (Padmasana), ‘Half lotus pose’ and ‘Thunder-bolt pose'(Vajrasana) for meditation. Take any Mudra (hand gesture) you like for meditation. I prefer Dhyan mudra and Gyan mudra for meditation. You can meditate sitting on the ground or chair or on Yoga Mat.

As you seat in comfortable posture and took mudra with your eyes closed, concentrate on your breathing or internal sound like Heart beat. Now don’t take deep breath, your breathing must be natural just like in relax position at home after office work. Don’t chant any mantra or pray. Stop your thinking and thoughts. Then you reach at the new state of mind, is called as ‘Zero thinking state’.
Continuously concentrate on your breathing. Focus on when you are inhaling and exhaling. Don’t control your breath, simply be mindful of it. When your mind is distracted because of thoughts, gently recognize that you have been distracted and come back your attention on when you are inhale and exhale.

And then slowly –slowly your depth of breath will decrease or reduce and then it will get too low, small and light. Give attention to the present moment, be aware of what is going on around you. Just listen and feel it. Don’t judge it. Don’t give specific name to describe it or what’s the meaning of it. Don’t think about it. Just give attention. This state of mind is called as ‘Thoughtless awareness’. And That’s Meditation State.

The more you practice this type of meditation, the better you will avoid distraction caused by mentally (thoughts) and physically (pain from seating so long & may others too).

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation –

  1. Mindfulness Meditation is used for reduce the stress and proved to reduce Depression.
  2. This Meditation improves our focus, concentration and increases attention span.
  3. The more we meditate , the less anxiety we have.
  4. This meditation helps for better memory.
  5. Mindfulness Meditation also proved that it increase Immune function.
    In USA one study conducted over 2000 people and found that who practice meditation produced more anti-bodies.
  6. Mindfulness Meditation increases ‘Telomerase’, which can possibly reduce cell damage in the body
  7. It helps in Weight loss, eating food mindfully consume less food and fats.
  8. Mindfulness Meditation can 90% avoid Heart Attack because its proved that it lower the Blood Pressure.
  9. Mindfulness Meditation reduces the level of stress hormone called “Cortisol”.
  10. Mindfulness Meditation increases Neurons connection in the Brain, which makes strong Myelin.
  11. It increases activity in the Brain’s ‘Prefrontal Cortex’ (associated with planning and judgment) and in the ‘Anterior Cingulate’ (associated with emotional regulation, memory, and learning ).
  12. Mindfulness Meditation increases Gray matter in the Brain which is associated with memory, empathy and sense of self.
  13. Mindfulness meditation to improved cognitive functioning.
  14. Mindfulness meditation help us to stop negative self talk or negative thinking.
  15. Mindfulness meditation reduces Emotional Re-activity, which again also helpful in fighting with Fear, Depression, Anxiety and many more etc.
  16. Mindfulness meditation can make us more Compassionate.

Note :- You can Meditate anytime – anywhere you want, try to meditate on Yoga Mat.

Before we answer the question: How to do mindfulness meditation, let’s have a quick look at what mindfulness meditation is.

What is mindfulness meditation?

There are many types of and ways to meditate. Some will help you to relax, others will teach you to empty your mind or even to alter your consciousness.

Learning how to do mindfulness meditation will help us to be present in the moment we are in, just as we are, without having to change or be something we are not.

Mindfulness teaches us to stay in the moment, even if it is difficult or painful. It means facing the reality of a situation head-on without rejecting it or glossing over it to make it more palatable.

When you are present in the moment without flinching or wishing it to be something else, you gain the needed insight to know what needs to be done with more acceptance and less blame for yourself and others.

Mindfulness Quick Links:

How to do mindful meditation How to do mindful meditation How to do mindful meditation

How to do mindfulness meditation?

When exploring mindfulness and meditation, there are many different ways to approach it, but I will try to keep it simple, so that even a novice can try it for themselves. We will look at the physical, breathing and mind:

How to do mindful meditation

Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. The easiest way to begin (because it is more comfortable) is to lay flat down or in a reclining chair, with eyes closed.

However, if you are used to meditating sitting up or this feels better to you then you can sit on a chair, on the floor or on a cushion. Adopt a posture that is straight but not uncomfortable.

Cross you legs in a way that is comfortable for you and won’t interrupt circulation. Put your hands on your thighs and close your eyes. If you prefer not to close your eyes, then with half closed eyes, direct your gaze downwards, towards the tip of your nose or a few meters in front of you, without trying to focus.

If your eyes are open just let you eyes rest there, without specifically looking or paying attention to what is there and maintain a soft focus.

Focus your awareness on your posture, the sensations of your body and the environment around you. When you attention starts wandering, gently return to what you were focused on.

The easiest and most effect thing to focus on is the sensation of the breath flowing in and out of your nostrils or of your belly rising and falling.

Take note of the sensations as you inhale and exhale. Breathe normally since you want to pay attention to what is in this moment. If you suddenly find normal breathing difficult and you then try to control your breathing somehow, just take note of it and accept it. Just keep the focus on your natural breath and relax into it.

For many people and especially when you are beginning focusing on your breathing is generally the easiest. When you feel comfortable with that you can begin to include awareness of your body along with your breathing. It is easiest to start with the parts of your body that are touching the bed, floor or chair.

You will notice that your mind wanders and that you lose awareness of your breath and realise you are caught up in thoughts. Don’t fight it or try to control it. Take note of it and simply focus back on your breathing and/or your body and let the thoughts fade out by themselves. In this way they disappear from your awareness the same as your breathing did when it was replaced by thoughts.

This is a subtle but important distinction..you don’t need to control and stop the thoughts merely shift your awareness back to your breathing and let them fade themselves. This is the key to mindfulness and accepting what is, without controlling and doing this by maintaining a focus on something in the moment.

Some find it helpful to use a term like “I’m thinking” to make themselves consciously aware of it and shift their awareness back to their breathing and/or body in the moment.

When practicing mindfulness and meditation, you want to observe yourself being in the moment, but not actively take part in (it not caught up in analysis and/or emotional reactions).

Top 10 Health Benefits of Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Top 5 Health Benefits of Malasana

How to do mindful meditation

It’s a busy world. We hustle daily to accomplish the necessary tasks. And, in a rush, we feel disconnected with ourselves, with the present, and surroundings. Mindfulness is the practice to be fully aware of the present and not being overwhelmed by the unfolding happenings and events.

While it is believed that mindfulness is something that every human being possesses naturally. With the practice of mindful meditation methods, it becomes more readily available to us. Mindfulness meditation is an ancient technique of ceasing the negative thought patterns of the brain and to finally bring it into the present moment and a state that is relaxed and unparalleled.

Mindful meditation teaches the practitioners to observe the thoughts and sensations without judgment like a natural observer and approach the experiences with warmth and compassion.

The Basics of Mindful Meditation Practices:

● From your busy schedule, set aside a few minutes for mindful meditation. Mornings are highly recommendable as it allows you to spend your day more mindfully. Make sure the place you choose to practice is peaceful, airy, and well-lit.

● Create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere in order to enhance the benefits of mindful meditation. Keep your yoga mat rolled out and your props such as blocks and cushions ready. Hang motivational quotes on the wall for getting the inspiration to practice and use soothing aromas and dim lights that calm the brain and help it slip into a meditative stance.

● Begin the meditation in a seated position like Lotus Pose, Gracious Pose, Easy Pose. Maintain the natural curve of the spine throughout the practice and keep your shoulders, neck, and face relaxed.

● You may keep the eyes closed or open as per your convenience during the practice.

● As you practice, you can also stretch your hands and legs and become aware of the sensations.

● Select a mantra and repeat it silently. Focus your attention on the breath and mantra.

How to do Mindful Meditation?

1. Start the mindful meditation in a comfortable sitting position. Place a folded blanket or yoga blocks under your hips and thighs for more support and ease.

2. Either sit with closed eyes or drop your chin to lower down your gaze. Soften your drishti during the practice.

3. Start to breathe. Take few deep inhalations and exhalations. Let the breathing occur naturally. Notice the physical sensations of the breath and the rising & falling of your stomach. Keep your attention on your breath.

4. Begin to notice the body sensations, how your legs and arms feel. Slowly bring your attention to each body part starting from toes to the heart to the head.

5. Gently, notice the mind wandering without attempting to change it. Also, become aware of the external sounds and sensations.

6. Be kind to the mind wandering. Gently bring back your attention to the breath every time your mind wanders. At times, you may also find yourself distracted, anxious, etc. Simply observe them as fleeting experiences without reaction. With consistency, you can train the brain to detach from the thoughts.

7. Gently lift your gaze or open your eyes. Take a moment to notice how it feels.

The Benefits of Mindful Meditation:

1. Improves Mental Health: Mindfulness meditation is an extremely effective method of improving the mental health. The deep breaths and repeating of the mantras help in lowering the cortisol levels and increasing GABA production. Also, when you start to notice the thoughts without altering them, you embark upon the route to mental tranquility.

2. Enhances Physical Well-Being: The stress has been a cause of many physical health problems. When your mental health is unhealthy, your body responds in a negative way. By controlling stress, anxiety and other brain health issues with mindful meditation, you can prevent the symptoms of many physical illnesses. Deep breathing techniques are useful in controlling high blood pressure and enhancing the functioning of the vital organs, thus resulting in physical wellness.

3. Leads to Awakening: In the mindful meditation, you are encouraged to naturally observe the sensations, sounds, and thoughts without changing them. This technique helps to disconnect and accept the present. This is the foundational requirement of awakening that happens in mindful meditation.

With mindful meditation, cultivate self-realization and practice it daily both on and off the mat.

To more know about mindful meditation in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.