ways to de-stress
Mindfulness Meditation The goal of mindfulness meditation is simple: to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement. However, as you practice, you’ll find that this is easier said than done. During mindfulness meditation, you will focus on your breathing as a tool to ground yourself in the present moment. It’s normal that your mind will wander. You’ll simply bring yourself back into the moment by refocusing on your breathing, again and again. Follow the instructions below to begin practicing mindfulness meditation. Time & Place Aim to practice daily for 15-30 minutes. More frequent, consistent, and longer-term practice leads to the best results. However, some practice is better than no practice. Find a time and place where you are unlikely to be interrupted. Silence your phone and other devices, and set a timer for your desired practice length. Posture Sit in a chair, or on the floor with a cushion for support. Straighten your back, but not to the point of stiffness. Let your chin drop slightly, and gaze downward at a point in front of you. If in a chair, place the soles of your feet on the ground. If on the floor, cross your legs. Let your arms fall naturally to your sides, with your palms resting on your thighs. If your pose becomes too uncomfortable, feel free to take a break or adjust. Awareness of Breathing Because the sensations of breathing are always present, they are useful as a tool to help you focus on the present moment. Whenever you become distracted during meditation, turn your focus back to breathing. Notice the sensation of air as it passes through your nose or mouth, the rise and fall of your belly, and the feeling of air being exhaled, back into the world. Notice the sounds that accompany each inhalation and exhalation. Wandering Mind It’s normal that your thoughts will wander during mindfulness meditation. At times, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain focus on your breathing. Don’t worry—that’s normal. Instead of struggling against your thoughts, simply notice them, without judgment. Acknowledge that your mind has wandered, and return your attention to breathing. Expect to repeat this process again and again.