- fundamental /fuhn-duh-MEN-tl/
- distraction /dih-STRAK-shuhn/
- scan /skan /
- neglect /ni-GLEKT/
- shift /shift/
[adjective] – forming the base, from which everything else develops
Dashi and umami are fundamentals in Japanese cuisine.
[noun] – something that prevents someone from giving their attention to something else
She thinks video games are a distraction from studying.
[verb] – to look at something carefully, with the eyes or with a machine, in order to get information
He likes to scan her face to get a clue of what she is thinking.
[verb] – to not give enough care or attention to people or things that are your responsibility
Please do not neglect your health.
[verb] – to (cause something or someone to) move or change from one position or direction to another, especially slightly
The family keeps shifting from one place to another.
1. Be aware of your breath
According to Amishi Jha, professor of psychology at the University of Miami, noticing your breath is the most fundamental practice in every mindfulness program. You can try it by turning your attention to the physical sensation of your breath, without trying to control your breathing for three minutes. You would certainly experience some distractions, when this happens, simply redirect your attention.
2. Do a body scan
We tend to neglect our physical sensations when we are in a difficult situation. Doing a body scan can help us return attention to our body. Patricia Rockman, director of education at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, described the process of a body scan as “placing, exploring, shifting.” This means putting your attention on one body part at a time — such as the soles of the feet — Then, shifting your attention to your ankles. Pause there, and repeat.
3. Listen to your surroundings
There is a misconception that in order to meditate, the conditions have to be right, but meditations, based on Rockman, are created for real-world conditions. Simply sit on a chair and set a timer for five minutes. Close your eyes and just hear what is coming and going.
4. Take a walk
Walking can also be a form of meditative practice. Rockman recommends being a small space, which could be a yoga mat on the grass. You can walk back along the path and try to direct your attention in a specific way.
5. Practice loving kindness
According to Travis M. Spencer, executive director of the Institute of African American Mindfulness, the loving kindness practice is affirmations that you say to yourself, to your family, and to your friends. In his 10-minute workshop, he encourages participants to quietly repeat the lines “may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be filled with loving kindness.”
Along with meditation apps, trying the five techniques can help reduce stress and anxiety. The key is to keep doing it over and over until you are in the present moment.
- When was the last time you took a walk in nature?
- What other technique would you add to this list?
- Do you agree that walking can also be a form of meditative practice?
- Which among the five ways do you think is the hardest to do?
- In your opinion, what is ‘being in the present moment’?