Mindfulness Challenge: Week 1

If you are just tuning in, read here and here first. Go ahead, we’ll wait. 

This week we are going to focus on traditional mindfulness meditation. Dr. Sameet Kamur, in his book the mindful way through worry and rumination states that a “therapeutic dose” of meditation is 15 minutes, 2x a day. 

I don’t know about you, but I know I can’t start there. I literally can’t sit still for 15 minutes in a row. 

So I am starting with 5 minutes, three times a day, and I will be working up to 30 minutes a day over the course of this challenge. 

To Do The Thing: 

  • Sit in a comfortable position, with your spine relaxed, but not slouching
  • Begin by taking deep breaths, feeling the breath enter your belly
  • Set a timer on your phone for the length of time that is right for you
  • Breathe quietly, focusing on counting your exhalations
  • Accept that you will get distracted. When you do, shrug and return to counting your breaths.

Variations On A Theme: 

  • Find a guided meditation on youtube, and follow along.
  • Set a timer on your phone and spend the time with your eyes closed, visualizing the most peaceful scene that you can. 
  • Light a candle, and use the flame as a gentle focus while you sit quietly, returning your attention to the candle when you get distracted. 
  • As you sit quietly, focus on the total awareness of your present state. What do you see? Smell? Hear? What are you touching? What is happening in your body? Can you relax the spots of tension you’re finding? 

I will be using each of the variations at different times over the course of the next few days, to see what I like best. 

I encourage you to try different things as well. I also want to remind you that some people who struggle with PTSD or anxiety disorders can be triggered by meditation, so please please please be careful and stop immediately if you find yourself triggered, escalating, or just uncomfortably anxious. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means this is going to do more harm than good today and your self care comes first. 

Further Reading: 

How To Meditate

23 Types of Meditation

What Is Mindfulness? (from wildmind Buddhist meditation practices)

comment below and tell me: are you a regular practicioner, or just getting started? which variation are you using? are you using something I didn’t write down? (totally valid if you do). what more research and reading would you like to see, or do you have to share? 

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3 thoughts on “Mindfulness Challenge: Week 1

  1. Today I woke up with a migrane, so instead of doing the above I took an Advil and then tried to let myself experience pain without trying to escape from it by tensing up (which just makes things worse usually). Like “yes, it hurts but trying to get away from it isn’t gonna solve this one.” Eventually I fell asleep and when I woke up it wasn’t as bad, so win?

    Like

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