When beginning to practice mindfulness meditation, start small. Here are
ways that may just surprise you with their simplicity and ease!
Just breathe. Yup. “Breathing breaks are a great way to start to meditate,”
says Dr. Alexander, MD, family medicine practitioner at Torrance Memorial
Physician Network. Breathe in as you mentally count to five, exhale as
you mentally count backward: five, four, three, two, one. Do this five
times for a mini-meditation break anytime during the day.
Visualize. Set your phone timer to three minutes. Close your eyes and allow yourself
to go to a serene place from your childhood or your favorite vacation
spot. What does it look like? What does it smell like? Is it warm? Is
it cold? Who is there? Are there birds, clouds, wind? What does it sound
like? Is anyone with you? How do you feel? Paint this scene for a mini-mental
vacation for three minutes (be sure to set your alarm to a soothing—not
Plug and play. Download meditation apps such as CALM, HeadSpace, WakingUP or BrightMinds,
then choose a short three- to five-minute meditation, plug in your earphones
and bliss out.
Present-moment focus. This mindful meditation technique can be done while doing ANYTHING—washing
dishes, brushing your teeth, walking or jogging. Basically you are training
your mind to focus on the present moment, or for beginners, the task at
hand. When the mind wanders, as it will do, you gently bring it back to
the present via thoughts like: “I am brushing my teeth,” or
“I am walking by the ocean.”
Marinate in gratitude. Peggy Callahan, South Bay-based human rights champion, journalist and
filmmaker, meditates when she runs on the beach. “I can’t
explain how it happens, but at a certain point my mind becomes meditative
and I go into gratitude with thoughts like: ‘I’m so lucky
to be here and go on this run.’ The ocean totally does it for me.
To see the expanse of the ocean, I just drop into another space. I don’t
know how to describe that except that it’s absolutely everything
and nothing. It just is,” says Callahan.