Mindfulness & Meditation Basics

Mindfulness and meditation is a very important aspect to your overall wellbeing, and has helped me tremendously to grow and be a better overall human.  Whether it is taking 10-20 minutes a day to sit in a quiet place and meditate, or just being mindful during certain activities during the day(eating, walking, etc.). It is a necessity to give your mind that time to recharge.  There are a few apps that you can use to guide you through meditating, or you can just try it by your self.  For people new to mindfulness and meditation, I recommend using some form of guided meditation, but for those that decide to do meditate without help, we have listed some tips that will help.

 

Meditation apps
 

Calm


calm.com
Price: Free for some features and $9.99/month or $39.99/year for all the features

Calm has come a long way since the first time I used it.  You can choose to go through a free 7 day program of guided meditation, subscribe for a 21 day program and a 7 day sleep program to help you get to sleep faster and have a more restful sleep, take an unguided timed meditation with soothing background music or choose from quite a few of single guided meditations which you can choose the duration.  The first couple are free  Here are some of the choices:

  • Calm/Ease mental tension
  • Body Scan
  • Deep Sleep
  • Calming Anxiety
  • Deep Concentration
  • Emergency Calm
  • Commuting
  • Returning to Now
  • Confidence
  • Creativity
  • Energy
  • Inner Strength
  • and many more


Breathe

stopbreathethink.org
Price: Free for the assessment and quite a few quided meditations.  Extra meditations cost around $1.99 for packs of multiple meditations
This app is by TFP or Tools for Peace.  They are a non profit bringing mindfulness and meditation to children and young adults through the classroom.

I had never used this app before and was throughly suprised when I did.  I really like the assessment feature of Breathe. It takes you through a sort of check in with your body and emotions.  Then it gives you a few choices of meditations that would be best for you right now.  They also have quite a list of different meditations you can go right to.  Some of them are as follows:

  • Welcoming The Day
  • Falling Asleep
  • Mindful Breathing
  • Body Scan
  • Engaging Your Senses
  • Mindful Walk
  • Be Present
  • Gratitude
  • Change
  • Commonality of Suffering
  • Cause and Effect
  • Deal With Anxiety
  • *many more


Self Guided Mindfulness Meditation Tips

  • Sit comfortably in a quiet place with your back straight.  You can be sitting on a chair or the ground or cushion.
  • You may use some sort of relaxing sounds or white noise.
  • Close your eyes and start to be mindful of your breathing.  Notice where you most feel the air entering and exiting your body.  This could be your nose, you chest or your stomach.  If it helps, start counting each breath.  One on the inhale and two on the exhale, up to ten, then start again at one.  If your mind wanders to something else and you lose count, which is completely normal, smile, acknowledge the thought, and then return your mind to the breathing and start again at one.
  • After you have gone through this a few times, you can start what is called a body scan. Starting at the top of your head, slowly scan down you body, noticing how it feels.  Notice if you feel any pain, an itch, or relaxed feelings.  Once you get to your feet, expand the area and notice the body as a whole.
  • One last tip is a simple meditation to increase you focus.  With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths while noticing the flow of air in and out of your body, now picture a red circle between your eyes.  In that circle, visualize the goal that you are trying to acheive.  Visualize what you and your life will look like after acheiving that goal.  Let it play out inside that red circle like a scene from  a movie.  Your mind will wander.  When this happens, notice the thought or emotion as just a though or emotion, then return yourself to that red circle.

I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to start your own meditation practice.  I use these apps and techniques daily and it has probably been the number one thing that has helped me to grow and upgrade my body, mind and soul. I will be writing more articles soon on some more techniques and tips to take your meditation to the next level.  If you liked this post or would like to add your own suggestions, please leave me a comment below.  Thanks!