top of page

Meditate? Can I Do That?

When I talk to people about meditation one of the most frequent questions I get is “How do I know if I’m doing it right or doing it at all?” It’s something I also struggled with when I was initially introduced to the practice. Any single moment of clarity could be considered a meditation. Many world cultures place significant value on stillness and taking adequate time to pause and reflect throughout the day. If you are the type of person who is always on the go, giving yourself 5-10 minutes a day to meditate could be tremendously beneficial to your well-being. Here are a few tips that can help you get started or help maintain your flow.

Pause for Presence: This is something that you’ve very likely done before, quite possibly today. When you notice that your thoughts are running rampant and you want to change the direction they are going, a pause for presence is in order. Simply take a deep, clearing breath and bring your focus to whatever is happening in the present moment. Anytime you take a moment to breathe deep and just stop for a few seconds is an opportunity for meditation. When you intentionally bring your focus to the present moment, you momentarily stop the constant stream of thought. You may not be able to maintain the pause for too long and that’s okay. Every pause for presence moves you in a positive direction.

Create Head Space: That relentless ongoing stream of thought seems to be the core of who we are. Guess what? It’s NOT! The thoughts in our heads are no more who we really are than the clothes we wear each day. One of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves is to create some space between those thoughts. The moment you notice the thought is your moment of full awareness. In that moment you’ve created a space between the current thought and the next one. Meditation lives in that space! This may seem daunting at first, especially if you find comfort in the incessant stream of unconsciousness, but once you experience the peace and serenity that is really you, you’ll crave it more and more. Even if you can only hold onto the space for a brief moment, it counts.

Focus on the Breath: Breathing is a major component of meditation because when you focus on it, it keeps you engaged in the present moment. It’s impossible to focus on two separate objects at the same time. If you give your attention to the breath during meditation, you lose focus on the thoughts in your head. Follow your breath for an entire cycle from inhale to exhale noticing all the subtle aspects of its natural flow through the body. Focus on where you feel your breath the strongest. It might be in the nostrils as you inhale. Maybe it’s in the diaphragm as it contracts on the exhale. Start with 3-4 deep breaths and then settle into the body’s natural breathing pattern. Pay attention to any changes.

If you are able to sustain any one of these 3 exercises for a full minute or two, congratulations, you are doing it right! With a little repetition you’ll be able to sit in stillness for 10-15 minutes at a time and really feel the benefits of it. Share with us any tips you have for incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine.

You Might Also Like:
bottom of page