The awareness of breath and body practice is a staple in mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness guides us to use the experience of the breath and the body because they exist in the present moment. This is exactly where we need to be if we want to get away from the busyness of the mind.
I know this sounds so simple, and in many ways it is, but as with all mindfulness meditations, we’re up against the autopilot mind. And this character does not like being in the present. Far from it. The mind is constantly referencing past experiences in order to navigate to the best outcome in the future. In itself, this isn’t a bad feature of the human mind, it’s just that quite often the process can become relentless and exhausting. It’s precisely at this time that we need to recognise overthinking is not our best option and do something different.
Stop overthinking and Sit
We need time to disconnect from rumination because if we haven’t solved the issue in a sensible amount of time, continuing can do more harm than good. Research shows we become more clear-thinking and productive by taking time out to calm the mind and body. So a short mindfulness meditation not only saves you from unnecessary stress and worry, it also gives your cognitive resources a boost. How many situations can you think of where this would be a sensible option to take?
The great thing with this short sitting practice is you can do it anywhere. In a traffic jam, during your lunch break, sitting in the park, waiting to see your doctor, or even sat on the loo!
I notice lots more people sitting with their eyes closed these days, and why not? Once you are familiar with the simple steps of the guidance you can self-guide. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to follow your intention to pay attention to the direct felt experience of sitting and breathing.
Here’s a 10 minute sitting practice to get you going. I hope you enjoy.