Mindfulness exercises such as meditation have been discussed in-depth for the past few years, and for good reason. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress and emotional reactivity, while also improving memory, focus, and relationship satisfaction. (Source).
There are plenty of ideas on the internet for meditating, whether you’re wanting advice for getting started, or just need tips for keeping your practice fresh. Rather than reinventing the wheel and writing up suggestions for you here, I decided to do a little research and compile a list of (what I deemed to be) the most helpful sites out there on meditation. I found links on a variety of topics, so whether you’re new to the practice or a seasoned expert, there’s something on here for everyone!
Getting started/for beginners:
If you’ve never meditated before, it can be confusing to learn how. On his blog Zen Habits, Leo Babauta provides 20 simple and compassionate tips for getting started with your meditative practice.
Ideas to meditate on:
If you already know how to meditate, and you’re ready to experiment a little, Search Inside Yourself suggests 20 different topics to focus on while you’re meditating.
Unusual ideas to meditate on:
If you’re tired of meditating on the same ol’ topics like forgiveness and empathy, this site provides you a list of fun and quirky mindfulness topics that will put a smile on your face.
Teaching mindfulness to children:
Huffington Post author Dawn Gluskin practices mindfulness regularly, and has figured out what works (and doesn’t) in helping children to do it. Her tips are helpful while also being practical – she even encourages parents to just let active children fidget.
While mindfulness does great things for the individual, it can also benefit your relationship by getting you in tune with your partner. Josh Wise of Mindful Couples has a couple simple-sounding suggestions if you’re attempting this for the first time.
Meditate with your eyes open:
Most of us think we’re supposed to keep our eyes closed while we meditate; however, this may be more difficult for people who are just starting out, or those who get sleepy easily. Julia Naughton of the Huffington Post explains the rationale behind keeping your eyes open, and also gives tips on how/where to focus your eyes.
Meditate while you’re moving:
If it’s difficult for you to sit or lie still during mindfulness exercises, consider trying out a moving meditation. Both Yoga and tai chi combine gentle stretches with mindfulness; however, if you’re unsure how to do it and feel nervous about trying a class, this site can help you learn from the comfort of your own home.