A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
A quiet mind is attainable.
Ever notice how much time is spent going from one activity to the next, without a moment to pause in between? And should we happen to have a moment to relax, it seems as if the time magically disappears into a flurry of chores, errands, or into the exhaustion of a nap.
With so much of our time either scheduled, accounted for, or spent on social media, we run the risk of missing out on living in and fully experiencing with appreciation the moments we have in the here and now.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help us to tune into the present moment. Mindfulness allows each of us the opportunity to pay more attention to our own sensations, without judgment.
Meditation affords the mind a time to quiet the constant activity that keeps it over-actively seeking stimuli that is not satisfied with the here and now. Research continues to suggests that mindfulness and meditation not only reduce stress, but also increase our experience of positive emotions.
One simple method for developing basic mindfulness skills is a progressive muscle relaxation exercise. This practice brings your attention to the body, noticing your present sensations and relaxing your mind with intention – a habit, once formed, that will be beneficial in all areas of life.
The audio below for a Progressive Muscle Relaxation Guided Meditation will guide you for approximately 6 minutes in attending to your body sensations. This practice has been used since the 1920’s when Dr. Edmund Jacobson developed this technique to reduce his patients anxiety. And as you settle in to your own relaxation quest nearly century later, I would like to offer you these suggestions to prepare yourself for this exercise:
- Ensure you’ll be free from distraction during the meditation.
- Choose a comfortable place to sit or lie without any disturbances.
- Gift yourself the freedom to practice self-care. You are worthy of care and you deserve it.
- Press play on the audio below, close your eyes if wish, and relax into your preferred posture.
The skills you learn in mindfully bringing awareness to your surroundings and sensations can be transferred to other areas of your life once successfully attained. This means that everyday activities and the moments of our lives will finally get the gift of our full awareness and presence when we focus our attentions and allow it.
I wish you a mindfully present day filled with enough peace to move through your moments with acceptance, grace, and joy.