“I can’t stop thinking!!!”
Are these your exact thoughts while meditating? If the chatter inside your head seems louder than ten clanging cymbals combined, it’s time you give mindfulness meditation a try.
Unlike most meditation techniques that tell you to shun thoughts and keep your mind empty, mindfulness meditation embraces your thoughts and puts them at the centre of your practice.
Check out these two mindfulness meditation techniques that you can use to achieve inner peace and calm:
Choose a food item you’ll be eating and savouring during meditation. You’ll be using all your five senses to explore and examine it. Make sure it’s not something too big or too messy to eat. Put it in front of you and just let it sit there while you prepare yourself for meditation.
Look at the food you’ve chosen. Stare at it as if it’s for the first time. Pick it up and spend a few moments just holding it. Examine it with your hands and feel its texture. Next, bring it to your ear. Shake it and listen if it creates a sound. Then, smell it. Breathe in its aroma or odour.
After your four senses have had their fill, it’s time for you to taste it. Take a bite and let it sit on your tongue for a little while. Notice its weight, texture, temperature, and size.
Now, chew it as slowly as you can. Savour the taste and pay attention as the texture and taste change inside your mouth. Feel it go down your throat when you swallow.
Once your mouth is empty, answer the following questions. Did it leave an aftertaste? Did it make your mouth feel warm or cold? Are there bits and pieces clinging to your teeth and inner cheeks? Spend a minute or two focusing on the remaining sensations inside your mouth before ending your mindfulness eating exercise.
Alternate Nostril Meditation
Sit with your legs crossed. Rest your left hand on your left thigh. Your left palm should be open and facing upward. Next, put the index and middle fingers of your right hand together and place them where your eyebrows meet.
Using the little or ring finger of your right hand, close your left nostril. Inhale and exhale through your right nostril for five times.
Next, do the opposite. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, and inhale and exhale through your left nostril for five times.
Now, breathe in and out of your nostrils alternately. Close your left nostril and breathe in through your right. Next, close the right nostril and breathe out through the left. Complete five rounds. One round is equivalent to one complete breath cycle.
After you complete this cycle, rest your right hand, palm facing up, on your right thigh and breathe normally for a few minutes.