Mindfulness techniques allow deeper awareness of the current moment and help to curb tendencies to focus thinking on re-living past events or anticipating future events. The goal is to view and accept one’s current experience of emotions, thoughts, or sensations without a need to judge, without a need to label experiences as good or bad. Benefits to increasing your ability to focus on the current moment and decrease reactivity to experiences include decreased levels of depression and anxiety, improved sleep, decreased levels of stress, and decreased levels of pain.
At the end of each meditation you may want to take a few moments to record what you learn in a journal.
This meditation lasts about 5 minutes and involves observing your “inner” experience. This “check-in” will provide a brief picture of some of the thoughts, feelings, or sensations that have been with you today.
This meditation involves observation of body and mind. Specifically, this meditation involves paying attention to your breath, sounds, sensations as well as thoughts and feelings. This meditation lasts about 15 minutes.
The body scan meditation takes you slowly through an observation of your body in all of its glory and disarray. Your goal is bring your awareness to each body part, to be present with it, to feel it as it is.
For those coping with pain, it’s best to do this meditation when your pain is at a lower intensity (not during a flare up).
You may choose to lie on a pad on the floor, on your bed or couch, or in a comfortable chair. Find whatever position is most confortable but make an effort to remain awake during the exercise to fully experience the benefit. This meditation lasts about 30 minutes.