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Mindful Meditation

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Meditation can be a useful way to focus the mind, reduce stress, and remain in the

present moment. It is not as complicated as one might think, either. I have been taught

several ways to meditate. Some have worked for me, some have not. I would like to say

I have practiced them regularly, but that would be a fib. I know I should but my practice

is spotty. And no, you do not have to sit with your legs all twisted up in order to


One of the most basic forms of meditation is to find a quiet place to sit, focus on your

breath, and clear your mind. You just focus on breathing in and out. If your mind begins

to wander, bring your focus back to the present and to your breath. Be kind to yourself if

your mind begins to wander, do not treat yourself harshly. And you do not need to do

this for a long period of time. If you are just starting out, you should keep it short.

For me, the above form of meditation tends to freak me out. Focusing on and becoming

aware of my breath causes me to experience anxiety. So, my therapist taught me a

different way: shifting my focus to a mantra. You choose a word of phrase of neutral

meaning on which to focus. I liked this version much better for me. I find it much more

soothing to be able to focus on a mantra rather than breath. Experiment with both and

see which works best for you. Everyone is different and will have their own preference.

A different kind of meditation I like, which can be about either drawing up energy or

grounding yourself, is to sit on the earth, focus on the feeling of your posterior on the

ground, and envision a root growing down from your tailbone and down into the soil.

This can be used to draw energy, it can also be used to ground you by connecting you

to the planet. I have used this when I am feeling particularly disconnected from myself

with great success. This is particularly useful after a very difficult therapy session.

Meditation connects you to the moment. It has been shown that this kind of mindfulness

is very useful for coping with things like situational anxiety and depression, and can be a

way to cope with the stressors of everyday life. It centers you and grounds you. You

might want to try adding it to your practice. These are just a few methods to try. One

idea for implementing a practice is to start small, at the start of the day, or even just a

few minutes at the start of every week, as a way to center yourself for the challenges life

is going to give you for the days ahead.

by Julie Morse

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