10-Minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation for Peace + Presence
Mindfulness is a powerful technique that can alleviate the stresses and strains of the modern lifestyles we live. This is particularly true for those of us who spend a lot of time either sitting or standing for long periods of time throughout the day.
The reason I practice mindfulness is to keep myself in the now as much as possible, because the present moment is all we ever really have. The past has already gone and the future hasn’t happened yet – therefore keeping ourselves grounded in the now ensures we don’t miss out on life.
The past is already gone and the future is not here yet. The present moment is all we ever really have.
When I’m in a confined space for too long – perhaps the office – I start to feel tightness in my muscles and my posture reflects this. My back becomes slightly hunched and the body begins to contract. Sound familiar? This is something many many people deal with every day, and this is where mindfulness exercises can greatly help . . .
Taking just 10 minutes out of your day for a simple mindfulness meditation will help restore you physically and mentally. It will leave your body feeling more healthy, nurtured, and alive, and will also help you feel more grounded, focused, peaceful, and in control.
Follow these simple steps for a guided mindfulness meditation to help you feel energized, present, refreshed, and ready to take on whatever life throws your way:
Step 1: Find Your Setting
If possible, try to get into nature – maybe a park or in your garden. Sit on the grass and observe the environment around you. Watch the way nature simply is and understand that this is the natural state of the world.
When we observe nature, we understand that there is a natural flow to things – which causes us to reflect on our own state. Ask yourself these questions: Am I in my natural flow? What flow am I in resistance to? What do I feel I am flowing with?
This is extremely powerful because it allows you to understand what you are living in resistance to. Ever heard the saying, “What we resist, persists”? Whatever we resist becomes stronger and holds greater dominance over our lives – until we can release that resistance. This is where mindfulness helps greatly.
Step 2: Earthing
Place your bare feet on the ground – this is called earthing. This simple yet powerful practice immediately strengthens your connection with the natural frequency of the planet, which will help you release any resistance you are feeling within your body and mind. Take in three long, deep breaths with your eyes still open and observe the beautiful nature around you.
When we observe nature, we understand that there is a natural flow to things.
Breathe with the knowledge that the trees are providing you with life force energy – oxygen – and you are providing them with theirs – carbon dioxide. Understand that this relationship we have with the trees is part of the natural flow of our entire existence.
Step 3: Tune Into the Senses
Now that you have aligned your breath with the natural frequency of the planet, you can close your eyes and continue deep breathing. Focus on your senses – feel the breeze on your face, the grass between your toes, the sounds of the birds, the smell of the air around you, and the taste of the air in your mouth.
Tuning into our senses is a vital part of our mindfulness practice because it brings us into the present moment by releasing our attachment to our constant swirl of thoughts and helps us find presence by focusing more on the senses.
Step 4: Clear Your Mind
Continue breathing deeply and focus your attention on what you are experiencing as you allow any thoughts to pass through without following them. If any thoughts are becoming dominant over you, instead focus on any one of your senses.
Try focusing on the sounds around you to bring your attention back into the now. If you still find yourself thinking, ask yourself – what’s the next thought? This question is effective to help clear the mind because it removes the subconscious habit of thought and acts as a compassionate acknowledgment of I am thinking so you can recognize it and move past it.
Step 5: Physical Relaxation + Mental Awareness
A great place to start cultivating relaxation is to begin by focusing on each part of your body. Start at the bottom with the toes, and work your way all the way up to the mind. Begin by telling your toes to relax, stretch them out, and press them into the ground, feeling the release of energy from their previously curled position.
Next, bring your attention to your ankles and move your feet in circular motions – concentrating your awareness on the movement. This releases built up tension in the ankles. Slowly and mindfully work your way up your entire body, focusing on the feeling you get from releasing the resistance built up in each of your muscles.
Stretch your legs out fully and then contract them slowly – bringing your awareness to the feeling in your knees during the motions. It helps to actually tell your legs to relax, which helps all the tension to melt away with the slow movement of your stretching.
Moving up to the abdomen, lean back until almost lying down and then slowly bring yourself upright to your seated position. As you lean back, tell your abdominal muscles to release the built up tension, and as you rise, allow yourself to feel the contraction in the muscles. These muscles are usually neglected when sitting for long periods of time, which is why it is important to focus on consciously activating and relaxing them.
Stretch your fingers out into the grass and gently feel the blades of grass while telling your hands to relax. After doing this three times, allow the backs of your hands to rest against the ground and your palms to face upwards. Feel how relaxed your wrists and forearms are. Tell your arms to relax and bring your awareness to your elbows, breathing deeply – focus on any tension you might feel in your elbows and outstretch your arms to release it.
Next, roll your shoulders forward and back. Take deep breaths and focus on how freely your shoulders are moving. Any resistance to the rolling motion is a sign of tension in the muscles, so spend as much time as you’d like on this area. Many of us carry a lot of tension here.
Bring the awareness to your neck – gently turn your neck from side to side as if you are saying ‘no’. Then nod your head slowly and gently as if you are saying ‘yes.’ Many of us carry a lot of tension in our necks from looking at screens all day, so feel free to spend a few extra minutes here and telling your neck to relax.
The final area to focus on is your head. Tell your chin, lips, jaw and cheeks to relax. The jaw is another place we tend to hold a lot of tension. Feel how heavy your eyelids and eyeballs can become, relax your eyebrows, and release all tension in your facial muscles.
Feel the release of all this tension and – if it feels right – smile, because you are now ready to face the rest of your day in a natural state of relaxation, presence, and connection. 🙂
This mindfulness exercise should take approximately 10 minutes, but focusing on one particular area where you feel the most tension for a few minutes longer will extend it to about 15 minutes. Take as little or as much time as you need to complete this mindfulness meditation the way that best serves you.
There is no right or wrong way to go about finding mindfulness and presence throughout your day, except not finding it at all! May this mindfulness practice help you along your journey, and help you find peace and positive vibes wherever you go.