Walnut Creek Therapy: Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners

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Mindfulness is for everyone. When we are mindful, we show up for our lives. We don’t miss out while we’re waiting for things to be better.

Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment, with purpose and without judgment. It involves focusing your mind on your thoughts, emotions and sensations as you are experiencing them, in the now.

By turning your attention away from the outside noise and focusing on your body, you give your mind enough time to quiet down.

How to Get Started:

It’s simpler than most people think. Just go for it by following these simple steps.

1- Make Some Time

Make sure you have at least 10 minutes that you can spend uninterrupted and alone.

2- Find Your Spot

Choose a place without any distractions and noises. If you are worried about how much time you have, set a timer.

3- Notice Your Body

You can sit in a chair with your legs straight, or on a cushion on the floor with your legs crossed. It really doesn’t matter, as long as your spine is straight and you are comfortable in a position you can hold for the duration. You can close your eyes or keep your gaze fixed on an object.

4- Focus on the Present

Let go of thoughts of the past and the future. Just focus on the present moment.

5- Become Aware of Your Breath

Feel the sensation of the air moving in and out. Feel your stomach rise and fall. Feel the air leave and enter your nose and mouth.

6- Watch Your Thoughts

Whether they are positive or negative, don’t ignore them or try to suppress them. Simply note them and watch them come and go.

7- Come Back

If you get carried away in your thoughts, just notice where you lost it. Be kind to yourself. Don’t judge or obsess, just go back to focusing on your breathing. This may happen many times, but don’t worry. This is part of the practice.

8- End gradually

As your time comes to an end, sit for a few moments and become aware of your surroundings. Notice how your body feels. Notice your thoughts and emotions. And that’s all there is to it.

Mindfulness is not about stopping your thoughts. Becoming blank is not the goal. It’s all about awareness. It really is that simple. It’s easy and it’s yours. Try it.

Dr. Dan Quinn

Clinical Director - Licensed Clinical Psychologist (CA23350), Dan supervised the therapy and research of doctoral students at The Wright Institute, in Berkeley, where he has been a clinical supervisor. He has spent many years studying a multitude of therapy techniques, including relational psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral, gestalt, solution-focused, and Internal Family Systems. He draws from all of them, depending upon the needs of the client at a particular point in the process. Dan was certified as a Positive Psychology coach after studying with its founder, Dr. Martin Seligman. He has 35 years of experience in the corporate arena, and was the CEO of a highly successful technology consulting firm.

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