People are under a lot of stress these days. The demands of work, family, and social obligations can be overwhelming says Jonah Engler. While there are many ways to deal with stress, mindfulness meditation is one of the simplest and most effective.
Mindfulness meditation is a form of concentration meditation that involves focusing on the present moment. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, and it can teach you how to respond to stress in a more positive way.
Here are 25 simple tips for reducing stress with mindfulness meditation:
1. Find a quiet place to sit or recline comfortably:
This can be in your home, at a park, or anywhere you feel comfortable and safe.
2. Close your eyes and focus on your breath:
Breath in and out slowly and deeply, focusing on the sensation of the air passing through your nose and lungs.
3. Notice any thoughts or feelings that arise:
Don’t try to push them away; simply acknowledge them and let them go.
4. Return to your breath whenever you get lost in thought:
This is ok; just start over again at step 2.
5. Stay with your breath for 10-15 minutes:
If your mind starts to wander, just bring it back to your breath.
6. Practice mindfulness meditation daily:
The more you practice, the more benefits you will see.
7. Be patient:
It takes time and practice to learn how to meditate effectively.
8. Don’t compare yourself to others:
Everyone progresses at their own pace, and there is no wrong or right way to do mindfulness meditation.
9. Be accepting of your thoughts and feelings:
Don’t judge them; simply observe them and let them go.
10. Don’t try to change anything:
Mindfulness is about accepting things as they are, without judgment.
11. Embrace the moment:
The present moment is all we have; savor it!
12. Be curious:
When you focus on your breath, be curious about the thoughts and feelings that come up.
13. Be kind to yourself:
Remember, you are learning a new skill and it will take time to master it.
14. Be patient with your progress:
Like anything else, mindfulness takes time and practice to improve.
15. Make time for yourself:
This is key – carve out some time each day to devote to mindfulness meditation, and don’t let other obligations get in the way explains Jonah Engler.
16. Be comfortable with stillness:
In order to focus on your breath, you may need to be comfortable with stillness and silence.
17. Be comfortable with discomfort:
Mindfulness meditation can be uncomfortable at times, but that’s ok. It means you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
18. Experiment with different techniques:
There is no one right way to do mindfulness meditation; experiment until you find a technique that works for you.
19. Use guided meditations:
Guided meditations can be helpful in getting started with mindfulness meditation. There are many available online or on audio formats.
20. Connect with nature:
Spend time outside in nature, and focus on the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
21. Make time for daily prayer or spirituality:
If you are spiritual or religious, connect with your faith tradition through prayer or meditation.
22. Connect with your body:
Focus on how your body feels – the pressure of the chair against your back, the air moving through your hair, etc.
23. Use a mantra:
A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself during mindfulness meditation. It can help to focus your mind and keep you from getting lost in thought says Jonah Engler.
24. Find a support group:
If you find it difficult to stay motivated, connect with others who are also practicing mindfulness meditation.
25. Be kind to yourself:
Above all, be gentle and forgiving with yourself – mindfulness meditation is a process, not an endpoint.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that can offer a variety of benefits, including improved focus, reduced stress and anxiety, and a greater sense of peace and calm. It takes time and practice to learn how to meditate effectively, but the rewards are worth it. Be patient with yourself – everyone progresses at their own pace – and keep practicing daily. You will see improvements over time.