by Adrienne Stokes, M. Ed. | UAB Community Health & Human Services Alumni
“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” – Wayne Dyer
Regular meditation can help you to control your emotions, enhance your focus, and decrease stress. There are many different ways to mediate. The following steps can help get you started.
Step By Step Guide to Meditation
- Choose a quiet, peaceful environment free from distractions
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Decide how long you want to meditate, 15-45 minutes is recommended
- Sit in a comfortable upright position with your spine straightened
- Close your eyes if it helps you to focus and relax
- Follow your breathing
- Breathe deeply, inhale through your nose then exhale through your mouth
- Focus on your breathing and breathing only
- Let all thoughts slide away and empty your mind, focus only on your breathing
- Become aware of the rising and falling of your abdomen as you breathe in and out
- Continue like this until your time is up.
Meditation takes practice. Don’t worry if you have trouble emptying your mind or become frustrated or easily distracted, just return to following your breathing. As you train your mind and body to relax through meditation, you’ll become accustomed to the routine and begin to associate deep breathing with stress relief. In the same way that pictures of food may make us feel hungry, meditative breathing can decrease our stress.
So, if you’re having a bad day and feeling under pressure, stop for just a moment to take a few deep breaths. The results may surprise you.