The best way to start is not to expect too much from it and yourself. Simply come with an open mind.
With the rise of modern-day levels of overstimulation, stress, and depression, the concept of mindfulness as an antidote has gained much traction lately. Mindfulness is having your mind fully present in the moment, without distraction or judgment. It lets you develop self-awareness and acceptance, while balancing between the extremes of attachment and apathy. While there are mindfulness programs offered by institutions, a more personal way to practice it is through meditation.
Meditation may take a while to get into especially if you’re used to having an active body and mind – but that’s exactly why you need it. The best way to start is to not expect too much from it and yourself. Simply come with an open mind. Make sure you’re in a quiet setting with dim lighting and minimal interference. Close your eyes and relax in a comfortable position. Allow your breathing to slow down. Release control. Just be aware of yourself and your surroundings. Try not to move even when you feel sensations, but adjust your position if you feel any pain. Let your thoughts come and go, and try not to linger in any of them. Eventually, stillness will find you.
Depending on your state of mind, meditation can have varying effects. It may give you clarity, make you emotional, or not have significant effects. Whatever the case, be gentle with yourself, reflect, and try again.
Exploring the world of meditation
If you find it difficult by yourself, you may try guided meditation through apps, classes, or retreats. Most guided meditation involves verbal instructions while you listen and disconnect your other senses. Others let you visually focus on an object, such as candlelight or an image, while not letting your mind wander. Some let you focus on an intention, such as developing compassion. A few might even involve chanting, singing or movement. Explore, be open, and see which practice gets you into a mindful state.