Starting a mindfulness practice is hard for most people

You’ve heard about this concept called mindfulness and you’re intrigued by the many benefits of this practice, such as reduced anxiety and stress, improved mood, pain relief, and much more. You’re interested in getting started, but you’re somewhat confused and not sure what to expect.

You may have tried mindfulness meditation, and feel discouraged and unable to “do it right.” Maybe you’ve even felt more anxious or more distressed after you tried mindfulness, and are wondering how this can possibly help you.

This is a lot more common than you may realize – so rest assured, it’s not just you! Numerous people that I have worked with have found themselves in this same position. More often than not, I observe that people struggle with beginning a mindfulness practice, and this often discourages them from continuing because they assume they are not well-suited for it. The key is to keep trying, just like with any other practice. Nobody is an expert at the start, and it does get easier and more enjoyable over time. You can succeed and reap the many benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation!

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you begin your mindfulness journey:

  • Mindfulness is about being present in the current moment and practicing awareness without judgment.
  • The goal of mindfulness is NOT about turning off your thoughts or quieting your mind – this is a common misconception.
  • Start by focusing on the inhale and exhale of your breath. The breath is an easy anchor to keep you focused on the present moment.
  • You do not need to breathe a special way. Instead, simply notice your breath as it naturally flows in and out.
  • It is perfectly normal to experience a rush of seemingly random thoughts and difficulty staying focused.
  • When you notice yourself drifting off and thinking about something other than your breath, gently redirect your mind and understand that this is a natural tendency of the mind.
  • Be gentle with yourself and avoid self-defeating thoughts or comments such as “I can’t do this” or “My mind is just too busy.”
  • Reward yourself for your practice. Develop a goal (i.e. 30 minutes total per week) and reinforce your efforts with a healthy treat or fun activity.

I encourage you to begin your mindfulness journey today! Contact me here to share about your experience, struggles, and successes. If you are looking for a qualified therapist to help you start your mindfulness journey, learn more about me here. Be proud of yourself for taking the time to take care of your mind, body, and spirit because you deserve to be happy and serene!

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

-Jon Kabat-Zinn

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