"Meditation is a state of mind which looks at everything with complete attention, totally, not just parts of it." - J. Krishnamurti
When I first started my meditation journey, I tried every style I could get my hands on: Vipassana, guided visualizations, tantric practices, Holosync, Zen, mindfulness, and the list goes on and on.
What I realized was this: all meditation practices teach us how to sustain voluntary attention, or how to keep your own attention.
While the various meditation styles may differ in their objects of attention, the methods of sustaining attention, and underlying motivation, they are all practices of attention.
Meditation teaches us how to discipline our minds, so that we can focus on whatever we consciously choose to focus upon for as long as we consciously choose to do so.
Imagine having that much power over your thoughts, over your mind, rather than allowing them to have power over you. Meditation is a highly beneficial tool in overcoming anxiety. It's beautiful!
Let's dive into a mindfulness meditation on the breath so you can practice sustaining your voluntary attention.
A 3-Minute Mindful Breath Meditation:
- Find your comfy position and close your eyes.
- Focus on your breath, making your inhalations and exhalations long and deep.
- Notice the sensations of your breath. It's these sensations that are also showing you how present you are in this moment. Pay attention to the details of your breath. Are you breathing slowly or rapidly? Are you breathing through your mouth or your nose? Where do feel the air feel like as it flows in and as it flows out. Tune into the subtle sensations of the air you breathe in and out.
- Whenever thoughts arise, simply notice them. Then return to the sensations of your breathing. If you get distracted by thoughts, simply ask yourself, "Am I breathing?" Then notice your breath, which shows you your present moment awareness.
Open your eyes and go back to your day.
This an effective guided meditation for anxiety that you can do anytime during the day, to bring you back to the present moment and back to your breath.