Understandably, you may be feeling a significant level of stress right now. One method of acknowledging difficult circumstances and dealing with feelings of stress in a healthy way is mindfulness meditation, where you focus on being present in the current moment without judging yourself or your feelings.
This list has some simple ways to try out meditation and see if it’s something that might work for you.
- Try a “body scan” meditation. This kind of guided meditation asks you to focus on different parts of your body in order to notice and acknowledge tension or pain. It’s a great format for beginners because it offers concrete things to focus on, rather than abstract ideas. Here’s a short, simple video that guides you through a basic body scan.
- If starting with a guided meditation feels strange or intimidating, try incorporating other aspects of mindfulness into your day. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal at a specific time every day, or set a reminder on your phone to check in with what you’re feeling at a certain moment.
- Start with a silent meditation. Videos like this one have a sound, usually a bell or a gong, to signal the start and end of the meditation, during which you can just close your eyes and focus on taking deep, even breaths. The video linked here is for a 5-minute meditation, but there are more out there for much longer practices.
- Combine exercise and meditation. Mindfulness, particularly focus on breathing, is an essential part of yoga, and yoga practice can also help build strength and improve flexibility. If you’re a yoga newbie, try popular YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene, which offers both multi-day courses and individual practices, as well as playlists of practices sorted by length.
Add a meditation routine to your day. Try doing a mindfulness exercise – guided or not – as a calming way to fall asleep, or as the first thing you do when you wake up. Mindful.org offers this article, which includes both written guidance on meditating as you fall asleep and audio for a guided exercise.