Have you ever tried to start getting into the habit of meditation, only to quit after a week or two because you found it too intimidating? You aren’t alone. Many people think they can never get the knack of meditating because they’re too fidgety or easily distracted and have trouble quieting their mind.
The good news is that there are as many ways to meditate as there are types of physical workouts – perhaps even more. As long as you’re focusing on your breath and using it to guide your awareness inward, there’s no wrong way to meditate. Experiment with these mindfulness styles and see which one fits you best.
1. Walking Meditation
If you’re a Type A person who’s always on the go and doesn’t like sitting still, a walking meditation could be ideal for you. Instead of sitting or lying down, you’ll be getting in some steps while you work on becoming more mindful. As you walk, concentrate on the way your feet feel when they hit the ground. As you do so, notice any other sensations you can feel – the sound of birds singing, the sunshine warming your skin, the smell of freshly mown grass. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Try this technique for shushing a harsh inner critic and quieting your racing mind. This form of meditation is all about living in the present moment. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths while you observe any thoughts or feelings you’re experiencing. The goal of mindfulness meditation is to notice without judging. If you realize any negativity coming to the forefront, release it.
3. Mantra Meditation
A mantra – or a phrase you repeat while you meditate – can be useful for helping you focus and concentrate. Originally, the concept of a mantra was a sacred saying passed down from teacher to student. These days, however, a mantra is more of an empowering idea you can say out loud or hold in your mind to set your intention during your practice. Positive mantras you can try are “I am enough” and “I deserve happiness.”
4. Loving-Kindness Meditation
Open-hearted and extroverted people might gravitate toward loving-kindness meditation, a practice that can help improve your well-being and help you give and receive compassion. Regular practitioners of loving-kindness meditation can become less anxious or angry over time.
5. Visualization Meditation
Many successful people use visualization techniques in their daily lives. Picturing a desired outcome or goal makes it feel more concrete, and therefore achievable. You can use visualization by itself as a meditative practice, or add visualizations to enhance other types of meditation. For example, in your mind’s eye, see yourself letting go of negativity by imagining each specific worry as a bundle or package that you throw away.
Adding Mindfulness to Your Addiction Recovery
Imagine going to the gym a couple of times, then deciding exercise isn’t for you because it didn’t immediately give you the toned physique of Chris Hemsworth or Kate Hudson. That self-defeating attitude is only going to hold you back. The goal of meditation isn’t to provide instant results. It’s called a “practice” because it requires continual effort. With that in mind, consider adding mindfulness to your addiction recovery routine.
At Segue Recovery Support, meditation is one of our residents’ typical daily activities because we have seen its effectiveness for people in a sober living environment. If you’re ready to learn more about transitional services that can help you ease back into the “real world” after treatment, contact us today.