D-I-Y mindful meditation

Christmas frenzy getting to you? There literally has never been a better time to take up meditation...

We thought that today - just before the festive season cranks up big-time - we'd share some widsom from Sarah's Health Notes page, which appeared in YOU Magazine last Sunday. (You can find these archived every Monday in the section called, simply, Health with Sarah Stacey, top right.)

But in case you missed this feature on our site or in the magazine, we want to share these simple mindfulness meditation tips - which could prove sanity-saving, in the weeks to come. (It's counter-intuitive, but we know from personal experience that if you find just 15 minutes to meditate daily, you'll find everything happens more easily. It's as if you're given time back into your busy schedule, rather than 'losing' that time meditating...)

Psychologist Jain Wells also believes meditation is the best way of clearing your mind and finding calm – for free. As well as the many proven health benefits, Jain, who did her PhD on the subject, found it significantly enhanced her confidence and creativity, supporting her parallel career as a singer-songwriter. Her debut album, To Be Real, is just launching (more on www.jainwells.com).

Here are Jain’s tips for mindfulness meditation

● Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, and listen to soothing music if you like. ● Sit upright on a chair with your spine straight, lower back supported and feet flat on the floor. Supple people may like to sit cross-legged on the floor. ● Close your eyes and rest your hands loosely in your lap, palms facing up. Bring your attention to the slow gentle inflow and outflow of your breath. It may help to see your breathing as a low wave rippling up a beach, pausing briefly, then ebbing slowly away. ● Thoughts, feelings and sensations will naturally float into your mind. Acknowledge them without any sort of judgment or analysis and gently go back to the flow of your breathing. ● Regular practice, just 15 minutes daily, gives you sustained benefits. Research shows meditation reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, relieves physical pain, and may help fight disease.


NewsTania Smith