Trying to figure out better ways to relax and meditate? Meditation and mindfulness are excellent ways to gain balance in your life and recovery and keep you mentally and emotionally healthy. However, it takes a little bit of work to achieve a good meditative state.
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.
Find a good, quiet spot in your home without much distracting clutter. You can leave the lights on as you shouldn’t be in danger of falling asleep. The biggest challenge at the beginning is going to be figuring out how to sit, and how to control your body in a way that helps you achieve meditation and mindfulness.
Here are some tips about finding the proper posture when practicing meditation and mindfulness:
- Make sure you have a stable seat: You might be sitting on a chair, a cushion or a bench—whatever you choose, it should be stable and solid, not hanging back or forcing you to be in an uncomfortable, perched position.
- Position your legs correctly: If you are sitting on a cushion on the floor, you should cross your legs comfortably, or sit in any kind of seated yoga posture that is comfortable for you. If sitting on a chair, simply sit with the bottoms of your feet touching the floor.
- Sit straight: You should sit up straight, but don’t feel like you need to be stiff. There is a natural curve to your spine, which you should let sit as it normally would. Rest your head and shoulders comfortably—don’t feel like you need to hold a stiff position.
- Position your arms correctly: Your arms should be parallel to your upper body, with your hands on the tops of your legs. If you have your arms too far forward, you’ll start to hunch over. Too far back, and you’ll start to feel stiff. It’s all about finding the position that will keep your body comfortable for some extended meditation time.
- Begin to drop your chin: Your gaze can fall a bit downward. If you like, you can lower your eyelids or close your eyes entirely, but it is not necessary to do so when you meditate. Stay in this position for a bit, and relax.
- Pay attention to your breathing: At this point, you’ll likely start to give a little more attention to your breath. Follow it as you inhale and exhale. Notice how your belly or chest rises and falls with each breath, and notice the air coming in and out of your mouth and nose.
- Let your mind wander a little bit: There’s no need to eliminate thinking entirely from this exercise. If your mind wanders, let it, but eventually you can gently return your attention to your breath. It is normal if your mind wanders frequently, but rather than engaging with those thoughts, you should attempt to observe them without needing to react. This can be difficult to maintain, but practice makes perfect.
- Finish by lifting your gaze: At the end of your exercise, lift your head back up, notice how you feel, notice the sounds in your environment and any emotions you have, then decide how you’ll proceed with your day.
San Diego Sober Living has been helping women in the San Diego area recover for over a decade. We know how to help because we have been there. If you or a loved on are seeking a new life of sobriety, we can help. Call us today!