There is not one client who I have not talked about mindfulness practice and meditation as an important tool in your coping skills tool belt. It’s an important tool, not only just as a coping tool, but as a regular every day practice.
It seems like such a simple practice and you can wonder how it can make that much of a difference. The way I like to explain it to my clients is that it makes a small imprint each time you do it. For that 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 20 minutes your body has a sense of stillness and contentment. When we are operating in fight or flight most of the time, it feels normal for your chest to be heavy, heart beating quicker and body to feel tense in addition to any other physical presentation of stress. But when we give ourselves those moments of mindfulness or meditation then our body can make that your baseline.
People often feel like they aren’t doing meditation the right way. But, there is no right way. Sometimes I sit and find myself getting distracted and thinking about one thing after another. When I notice that I’m thinking, I gently tell myself “thinking” and I go back to focusing on my breath.
There are plenty of apps that can help you get going and they all have at least some free sessions. Here are a few to check out.
- Insight Timer
If you really just aren’t in a place to commit to a daily meditation practice, then take 2 minutes before you go to bed to take some deep breaths. This can help you to be aware of your breathing in general. Once I started breathing practice and meditation, I realized that I hold my breath so it makes me more aware of it when I am feeling stressed.
Give it a try for a week and see what you notice. That feeling that you have while you are meditating or doing your breathing practice is a feeling that you could experience more often if only you included this in your daily routine. It’s worth a shot!