TOBY MIZZI, COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST, STRONG MINDS PSYCHOLOGY
By now, my hope is that I have provided you with a basic introduction to mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. This has been, of course, an extremely brief and basic overview of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. They are quite literally hundreds of books, course, and websites on the topic so if you feel you need more information, I’d encourage you to explore more. My aim is to provide a more accessible introduction into these ideas that doesn’t overwhelm or put off. There is no need to jump into the deep end straight away; sometimes it is nice just to dip your toes in and get used to the water before slowly submerging yourself.
For this week, I want to start encourage ongoing mindfulness meditation practice. I’ve already provided some details on how you might practice in earlier blogs, but from today I’d like to make it a formal practice. Remember, mindfulness meditation is a practice that is relatively easy to learn but can take years to master. For each practice I introduce, I will give a few details on 1) The focus of the mindfulness practice (e.g., breath), 2) the length of time, 3) body position, 4) any specific technique/strategy to include
Practice 1 – Brief mindfulness meditation
Time: 5 minutes
Body: sitting comfortably on the floor in lotus position. If this is uncomfortable, you can sit in a chair. The main thing to ensure is that your back is straight and you are comfortable.
Technique: keep this practice simple. No music. Just sit for 5 minutes and focus on your breathing. Allow your breathing to be natural. No need to modify your breathing in any way. Your attention will naturally wander (“why am I doing this?” “what should I have for lunch?”). This is natural. Just notice your thoughts, let them go, and return your awareness to your breathing. Try and notice as much as you can about the breathing process. Notice how deep or shallow your breathing is. Notice the rate of breathing. Try and notice the air pass through your nostrils (remember, try and breathing in and out through the nose). Notice as the air enters into your lungs. If it helps, you can remember the three R’s
- Rest your awareness on your breath
- Recognise when your mind wanders
- Return your awareness to your breath
About the Author:
Toby shares his time between the Strong Minds Psychology team, Swinburne University, and his young family. He is passionate about providing individualised support, and empowering people to enhance their mental health. Toby provides counselling and therapy for children, adolescents, adults and couples – helping with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationship difficulties, grief &loss, and family conflict. Mindful Mondays will be a regular blog on our website and Facebook page.
If you would like to discuss how the Strong Minds Psychology team can support your mental health needs, complete the form below or call us on 0417 389 941.