Mindfulness self study
“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Jon Kabatt-Zinn
When to meditate:
Morning and evening coincide with our body’s quieter rhythms. Our body knows how to be still; we just have to give it opportunity. Studies show that routines begun in the morning last the longest, but any time you look forward to meditating is the right time.
Being comfortable is most important. It is preferable to sit up straight on the floor or on a chair to help cultivate alertness, but if you are ill or need to lie down, that is fine. The mind has been conditioned to sleep when the body is lying down so you may feel sleepier. Your hands can relax on your lap, palms up or any way that you feel most open.
The effects of meditation are cumulative, and setting aside as little as 15 minutes a day to retreat and rejuvenate is beneficial. Many schools of meditation prescribe 30 minutes of meditation twice a day, and as your meditation practice evolves, you can extend your time. It’s better to spend just a few minutes meditating every day rather than meditating for an hour a week.
This period in time requires extra focus on self care routines. This assessment tool provides an overview of effective strategies to maintain self-care. After completing the full assessment, you can
move on to developing a full self-care plan.
Download: self care assessment and planning
Suggestions for every day practice:
* App One Moment Meditation: DOWNLOAD IN GOOGLE PLAY
* Guided 5 minutes breathing meditation: listen in English or in Danish
* How to do 3 minutes focus meditation on the breath (non guided):
Start or end every day with focus on breathing. When we pay attention to our breath, we are in the present moment. In an unforced, natural rhythm, allow your breath to flow in and out, easily and effortlessly. Make sure you are undisturbed for 5 minutes. Set your alarm to 3 minutes.
- Find a comfortable position on a chair and sit quietly placing your legs in a relaxed but fixed position. Letting your shoulders, arms and hands relax.Sit up.
- Closing your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so.
- Begin by paying attention to your breath. Let your lungs breathe with no effort on your part. Simply watch the movement of your breath. Inhale. Exhale.
- Follow the breath. During inhalation notice the physical sensation of your body breathing. Air going in through the nostrils, to the lungs, heart, diaphragm. For a fraction the breath stops. Stay in that stop, and then when the lungs exhale, again follow the breath as it reverses back to the nose and out of the body.
- When you are ready at your next inhalation start counting the number 1.
- Wait for your body to exhale and on the exhalation count 2.
- Wait for the next inhalation count 3.
- Continue to 10 and start over.
- If you get distracted, which you probably will, start over and on the next inhalation count 1. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t find that calm for 3 minutes.
* How to practice Body scan meditation:
- Lie on your back, legs uncrossed, arms relaxed at your sides, eyes open or closed. Focus on your breathing for about two minutes until you start to feel relaxed.
- Turn your focus to the toes of your right foot. Notice any sensations you feel while continuing to also focus on your breathing. Imagine each deep breath flowing to your toes. Remain focused on this area for one to two minutes.
- Move your focus to the sole of your right foot. Tune in to any sensations you feel in that part of your body and imagine each breath flowing from the sole of your foot. After one or two minutes, move your focus to your right ankle and repeat. Move to your calf, knee, thigh, hip, and then repeat the sequence for your left leg. From there, move up the torso, through the lower back and abdomen, the upper back and chest, and the shoulders. Pay close attention to any area of the body that causes you pain or discomfort.
- After completing the body scan, relax for a while in silence and stillness, noting how your body feels. Then slowly open your eyes and stretch, if necessary.
* Listen to a guided body scan in English (25 minutes) HERE
* Lyt til 28 minutter bodyscan på dansk HER
* How do to a Progressive muscle relaxation (non-guided):
Progressive muscle relaxation is a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. With regular practice, it gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body. This can help you to you react to the first signs of the muscular tension that accompanies stress. And as your body relaxes, so will your mind Progressive muscle relaxation can be combined with deep breathing for additional stress relief.
How to practice progressive muscle relaxation:
- Start at your feet and work your way up to your face, trying to only tense those muscles intended.
- Loosen clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
- Take a few minutes to breathe in and out in slow, deep breaths.
- When you’re ready, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
- Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
- Relax your foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and how your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
- Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
- Shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
- Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the different muscle groups.
- It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
Progressive muscle relaxation sequence:
- Right foot, then left foot
- Right calf, then left calf
- Right thigh, then left thigh
- Hips and buttocks
- Right arm and hand, then left arm and hand
- Neck and shoulders