Beginner\'s Guide To Mindfulness and Meditation

Hi Friends!

So far we’ve had some amazing recipe guest posts but I thought it’d be fun to change things up a bit and make sure we’re not only keeping our bellies happy, but our minds too! So, I recruited Emily – yep, you guessed it…another fellow RD!…to talk to you guys about mindfulness and meditation and how you can bring them into your life! Emily blogs over at Zen and Spice where she shares delicious recipes of her own, along with posts that cover other important aspects of nutrition and health. Go check it out!

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Hey everyone! My name is Emily, and I’m a Registered Dietitian from Dallas, Texas. I blog over at Zen & Spice, a health & wellness blog where I share my favorite recipes, workouts, meditation and mindfulness tips. I’m really excited that Lindsay has invited me here today – thank you so much for having me!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about mindfulness and meditation. These two practices are so important to help you feel less anxious and more relaxed about life!

What exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the state of taking things moment-by-moment. It’s an active, open awareness of the present. When you’re mindful, you are observing your thoughts, feelings, sensations and surrounding environment from afar, without judgment. Mindfulness focuses the brain on what is being sensed at each moment, instead of ruminating on the past or future. This lets you see every current moment and appreciate them. Living in the present and not obsessing over the future or past is very important. Appreciate who you are right now and find joy in your current state.

Tree Beginner\'s Guide To Mindfulness and Meditation

Starting a Daily Meditation

Starting a daily meditation practice can be very helpful in bringing us into the moment. Meditation is not a religion-specific practice. Anyone from any religious background who wants to learn how to center themselves and become more mindful can meditate!

There are three basic types of meditation. I like to use the sitting meditation the most (I tend to fall asleep if I lay down!).

  • Sitting meditation: Sit in a comfortable position with your back upright. Don’t slouch. Cross your legs, and let your hands fall into your lap. Inhale deeply and exhale. Close your eyes. There are many options here—the two most popular breath counting (count from 1-10, keep your mind clear), or breathing with a mantra (“Here, now”, or my favorite, “I am strong, I am healthy”).
  • Laying down meditation: Relax on your couch or in your bed in a comfortable position. Relax all of your muscles and release any tension you may have in your neck, back, arms or legs. Imagine your favorite spot in nature, and take deep breaths in and out. Try to keep your mind empty by imagining the sun, the wind, the green grass, etc.
  • Walking meditation:  You can either go for a walk outside, or you can just walk through your home. Take a breath at each step, one in and one out, and repeat a mantra such as “I am home”, or “Here, now”.

Little Buddha Beginner\'s Guide To Mindfulness and Meditation

Helpful tip: If you’re having trouble keeping your mind clear, imagine you’re leaning up against the wall of a train station. Trains are your thoughts. They’re coming into the station, slowing down, but then continue right through the other end. You are aware of the trains, you can feel them, but you don’t have to pay attention to them.

BeginnersGuidetoMeditation Beginner\'s Guide To Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation can be such a good way to start your day, deal with stress, and live in the present moment. It’s a very simple practice. Don’t stress about learning how or becoming good at it—that’s the thing meditation is trying to teach you to avoid! Do this every day, and after a while you’ll have formed a great habit.

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Thanks to Emily for sharing these helpful tips to get started! Let’s chat:

Do you meditate? If not, did this convince you to start?!

Enjoy!
–Lindsay–

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