Meditation is a set of techniques that are intended to encourage awareness and focused attention. Meditation is also a consciousness-changing technique that has been shown to have a wide number of benefits on mental well-being.
How to Practice
There are many different forms of meditation and ways to practice, but learning a basic meditation for beginners is a great place to begin:
- Choose a quiet spot that is free of distractions. Turn off your phone, television, and other distractions. If you choose to play quiet music, select something calm and repetitive.
- Set a time limit. If you are just getting started, you might want to stick to shorter sessions of about 5 to 10 minutes in length.
- Pay attention to your body and get comfortable. You can sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair as long as you feel that you can sit comfortably for several minutes at a time.
- Focus on your breathing. Try taking deep breaths that expand your belly and then slowly exhale. Pay attention to how each breath feels.
- Notice your thoughts. The purpose of meditation is not to clear your mind—your mind is inevitably going to wander. Instead, focus on gently bringing your attention back to your breath whenever you notice your thoughts drifting. Don't judge your thoughts or try to analyze them; simply direct your mind back to your deep breathing.