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Stress Management: Doing Meditation


Mindful meditation is a practice that helps you focus your attention on the things that are happening right now. You note what you experience without trying to change it. This practice may help you relax and relieve stress.

You don't need any special tools or equipment to practice this meditation. You just sit in a comfortable position in a chair or on the floor. Or you can lie down, if that is more comfortable for you.

How do you practice meditation?

During mindful meditation, you will focus on the things that are happening in the present moment. At first, try to meditate for only 10 minutes at a time. Then you can increase the time bit by bit. You can also try meditating for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.

Here are the steps.

  1. Choose a time and place.
    • Pick a time and place where you can meditate without being interrupted. Try to find a quiet place, but don't worry if there are some noises, such as traffic. That kind of noise is just part of the present moment.
    • Sit in a comfortable position, either in a chair or on the floor. Or lie down, if that's more comfortable. You can close your eyes, or you can look down, keeping your gaze a few inches in front of you on the floor.
  2. Remind yourself what you are doing.

    Before you start, tell yourself that you are there to focus on the present moment. This may help keep your mind from wandering. Your daily routine and other distractions will all be waiting for your attention after your meditation session.

  3. Start to pay attention to your breathing.

    This is a good way to focus your attention on what is happening right now. Don't try to change your breathing. Just notice how it feels in your lungs and chest.

  4. Notice your thoughts, and let them go.

    For example, if you think "I wonder what I will need to do at my 10 a.m. work meeting," acknowledge the thought, but let it go. Then bring your focus back to the present moment and your breathing. You may do this over and over again during a meditation session. That's okay.

  5. Notice your feelings, such as anger, impatience, sadness, or happiness.
    • Don't try to hold on to or let go of these feelings. They are part of your experience of the present moment. For example, if you feel impatient to finish the meditation so you can start the laundry, see if you can focus on the feeling of the impatience rather than thoughts of the laundry. Where do you feel the impatience in your body? Does it feel tight? Does it affect your breathing?
    • Keeping your attention on your breathing will help you stay focused and not get lost in the thoughts that your feelings may trigger.

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Current as of: June 24, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
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