Tips on Meditating
Meditation can be a helpful way to reduce anxiety, cope with difficult emotions, and learn to be more aware and intentional of your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Research also suggests that meditation can promote a sense of well-being, increase self-esteem, and develop compassion for ourselves and others. While practicing meditation daily for 20-30 minutes is ideal, even 5 minutes of meditation can be helpful.
Tips on Meditating:
- Find a quiet place. Wait until no one is around: get up earlier, stay up later, or go someplace else, if you have to. But find a place where you can minimize noise and distractions.
- Get in a comfortable position. You don't have to sit on the floor with your legs in the classic lotus position, but do get in a position where your entire body can feel relaxed. Sit or lie with your back straight, hands open.
- Focus on your breathing. Make sure you're breathing deeply, into the abdomen rather than chest. Pay attention to the feeling of the breath in your body, how the air feels as it enters and leaves you.
- Do a body/mind scan. Pay attention to internal sensations from head to toe and make an attempt to relax those parts where you notice tension. If you notice feelings, pay attention to what bodily sensations accompany those feelings and how you would describe them.
- Practice acceptance and non-judgment. Allow whatever feelings arise to be present without self-criticism or avoidance. Often focusing on the feelings has the paradoxical effect of reducing the intensity of them, contrary to popular belief.