The 10 Steps of the Mindfulness Meditation

As you might already know, Mindfulness means “the ability to focus on the present moment”. Our mind, which often wanders into the past and the future, needs an external push to focus on the present moment. Mindfulness meditation does exactly that, without much effort on your part. It enables you to be the master of your mind. It gives you the much-desired control over your thought process for your own good. With Mindfulness, you can put brakes on your knee-jerk reactions when the going gets hard. Mindfulness activities can condition your mind to be more flexible and stronger. Today, there are many different Mindfulness techniques available for you to choose from. But doing it the simplest way is more than enough to yield the right kind of results. Here are the 10 steps of the Mindfulness practice.

1. Set aside a time daily

Mindfulness serves your purpose better when you are consistent at it. So setting aside a fixed time for daily practice is vital. Begin by practicing it for short duration, even if it is for as little as 3 minutes. And as you gain confidence, you can extend the duration at your will.

2. Find a place to sit

The place that you choose for the Mindfulness exercise must be a peaceful one. Because serenity and calmness render the exercise more effective, yielding faster results. Your seat can be a chair, yoga mat or a cushion.

3. Sit in a relaxing posture

Choosing a good posture is important. You can choose to sit in any position but the key is to keep your spine erect and keep yourself relaxed. The Yoga asana called Padmasana or Lotus Position is one such posture. It is a position in which you sit straight and place your feet on opposing thighs.This position finds its origins in the traditional meditative practices of ancient India.

 4. Rest your palms on your legs

Your hands usually get stiff when you are tensed. So open your palms and drop your hands softly on your legs. Make yourself comfortable in every respect. This gesture is the first step towards making yourself relaxed. It gives your brain a signal that for the next several minutes your intention is to relax. It helps you build that attitude of “letting go” when you are way too stressed out.

5. Soften your gaze

Gently drop your chin and drop your gaze downward. It is up to you to decide whether you want to close your eyes or keep them partially opened. If you wish to keep your eyes open, you can loosen up your gaze and relax. The aim is to not let anything act as an obstruction. You don’t want anything to sway your mind when you are in the middle of the Mindfulness session.

6. Feel your breath

You know that your emotional state affects your breathing pattern. But did you know that your breathing pattern can affect your state of mind? Shallow breathing makes you tensed and deep breathing makes you more relaxed. So an important step towards calming your nerves is to practice diaphragmatic breathing. Take a deep breath through your nose and as you breathe out, pull your belly towards your lungs. Feel the physical sensation of air in your nose. Feel the expansion and contraction of your lungs and feel the rising and falling of your belly or chest. Continue breathing deeply and you will notice how your mind gradually settles down.

7. Notice the wandering mind

Mind-wandering is a natural phenomenon. The primary stimulus to a wandering mind is the complex set of thoughts that occupy it. The more intricate the thoughts in your mind, the greater the room for your mind to wander. So how would you keep a check on your thoughts when you do the Mindfulness exercise? The trick is to be constantly aware of this peculiar nature of mind. And every time your mind slips up, gently maneuver your focus back to your breaths. This simple exercise is, in fact, a proven technique to train the mind to be more attentive.

8. Curb your instincts to be critical

Humans tend to be critical and judgmental quite often. One thought goes through the mind and you start judging the object of your thought. Your discernment could be a result of a past experience or an advice given by a colleague. However, a common purpose of being judgmental is to feed one’s imagination. Your mind loves to imagine and create impressions of people and objects, by the second. So an essential step in the Mindfulness exercise is to curb your instincts to be critical. Watch every thought that goes through your mind, unambiguously. Soon, you will find it easier to regulate your thoughts and focus on the present moment.

9. Assist your mind rather than resist

Buddha portrayed thoughts as monkeys, jumping around and chattering endlessly. And fighting the monkeys is the last thing you would ever want to do. Because the more you try to oppose them, the more they fight for their ground. The more you try to erase a thought, the more it sticks to your mind. So a more sensible thing to do is to maneuver your focus, rather than play around with your thoughts. Every time a new thought kicks in, bring the focus of your mind back to your breath. And in no time, you will gain calmness and composure, which is what you ever asked for.

10. When you are done, gently lift your gaze

This Mindfulness exercise need not even last for long duration. But one must be consistent with the time that they spend on the exercise on a daily basis. After every cycle of this exercise, you must lift your gaze gently. Take some time to observe your surroundings and feel the fresh air filling your lungs. Observe how the grace of nature has replenished your mind and body. Relish the feeling of oneness with the ecosystem and the higher self.

 

By now, you must have realized how effortless an exercise Mindfulness is. The selling point of Mindfulness is that you can practice it anytime and anywhere. The ease and efficacy of Mindfulness have made it a popular stress alleviation technique. While the benefits of Mindfulness are many, like all other exercises, you must be consistent at it for desired results. Mindfulness is an exercise that can go a long way in enhancing your mental strength. So why look around, when that much desired mental peace is waiting right at your doorstep. Go ahead and get started with your Mindfulness session today.