However, the following mindfulness meditation techniques offer some good first techniques to try when becoming familiar with mindfulness meditation, or can also be useful for those who have practiced mindfulness meditation in the past and may not have tried these techniques yet. They all offer examples of how it’s possible to use whatever you have in your environment as a vehicle for mindfulness, or rather a tool to use, as the vehicle is your own mind.
Mindfulness Meditation: SoundsOne effective mindfulness meditation technique involves focusing mindfully on the sounds in your environment. While many people believe that a quiet environment is vital for a successful meditation session, it’s actually useful to have environmental sound when incorporating into your practice the mindfulness meditation technique of focusing on sound. In addition to using environmental sound as a focus for mindfulness meditation, music can be a useful focus as well, and can bring the additional benefits of music.
Mindfulness Meditation: SensationsPhysical sensations can provide another focus for mindfulness meditation techniques. Paying focused, non-judgmental attention to sensations you feel in your body, both from the inside and the outside, can provide a deep meditation experience, and can be useful in coping with emotional stress as well in some instances. Though this can be done anywhere, one mindfulness meditation that incorporates sensation is this bath meditation; give it a try.
Mindfulness Meditation: ThoughtsOne of the main hindrances that people experience when they are new to meditation is the inability to completely clear their mind. It’s often difficult to stop the steady stream of thought flowing in and out, and when people first sit down to meditate, their thoughts often get louder before they quiet down. That’s why it’s often best to label the thoughts that come into your mind, rather than engaging with them—this can make it easier to let them go. This, of course, can be done virtually anywhere and at any time, too.
Mindfulness Meditation: BreathingBreathing is one of the few completely constant things in life. Regardless of what else is going on, there is always breath in, and breath out, and the repetition of these two activities. The awareness of this process has been used by countless people as an effective mindfulness meditation technique. The very act of being aware of one’s own breath can lead to ‘better’ breathing, which can lead to physical and emotional relaxation. The breathing meditation is a classic and often-used meditation for these reasons.
Mindfulness Meditation: TasteWhen stressed, people often instinctively use their sense of taste as a stress reliever—through mindless munching or satisfying sweets cravings that can be brought on by cortisol—but the sense of taste can be used in a healthy and effective way through mindfulness exercises. Using your taste buds to become immersed in the present moment is an enjoyable and simple way to explore mindfulness and relaxation, but this technique can also be useful in learning overall healthy eating-mindful eating has been used effectively by many people who are trying to stop overeating and really savor their food. One of the first mindfulness exercises I learned in a mindfulness-based stress relief class was the eating meditation. In the class I took, we used raisins, but here’s a chocolate meditation you might like better.
Each of these mindfulness meditation techniques can be used regularly for greater relaxation and stress relief, as well as for other benefits as well. The key is regular practice!