GUIDE TO MEDITATION
You know meditation can be relaxing but trying to shut your brain off and sit still sounds for 10 minutes sounds like a nightmare. Some people think and process better while moving, there's no reason to fight that--work with it. What if the focus wasn't on being still and not thinking, but about getting comfortable being present? If you’re uncomfortable in a traditional meditation position, feel free to move, fidget, or curl up in bed. Whatever it is, engage your senses and see what feels good to you.
Here are some techniques to help you create a practice that will work for you:
Use a grounding object
Try holding onto something as you breathe like a fidget, crystal, or stone. Focus on how this object feels in your hands as a way to bring you back to the present moment if you find your thoughts wandering. If you want to add a visual component, grab your favorite grounding object and try a 1-3 minute guided breathing exercises using the Breathwrk app.
8D, or binaural, audio alternates sounds between headphones to create a more immersive experience. To access free 8D audio, type “8D audio" or " 8D soundscape” into YouTube or use this Youtube playlist. Use headphones to get the full effect.
Body Scan Meditation
Body scans, or progressive muscle relaxations, are about paying attention to each part of your body and noticing where you feel tension and restlessnes. You can find body scan guided meditations on UCLA Mindfulness app, Insight Timer app, and most other meditation platforms.
There are many different ways of doing walking meditations-this could be a whole book on it's own. The idea is to go for a walk and pay attention to the details in your surroundings using your senses in whatever way works for you.
If you are uncomfortable with traditional meditation: put on a 2 minute timer and try counting how many blue things you see. Then switch to another color and repeat. The goal is to pay closer attention to details each time to increase mindfulness.
If you are looking for a 10 min structured walking meditation: click here.
If you are looking for a Buddhist perspective on walking meditation: click here.
Make your own playlist
Take a few breaths and listen to the lyrics, the beat, whatever is more interesting to you at that moment. Can you hear which different instruments are being played? Try focusing on each instrument individually. When thoughts come up bring your attention back to the lyrics or a specific instrument.
Figure out what works for you and build on it
Play around with different techniques and make it your own. Make stuff up, get weird with it, whatever works for you! It's not about what it looks like, it's about how you feel while doing it.