Some simple exercises to meditate at home following easy-to-follow guidelines.
Have you ever thought about getting started in meditation? Or maybe you already practice it? According to the scientific literature, this ancient practice has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms in many people.
Therefore in this article you will find several exercises to meditate at home, easy to apply but that require practice and perseverance. These are varied exercises, many of which you can combine and intersperse. Before, but, we summarize the basic premises that you should know about meditation.
Meditation: 6 previous steps
Meditation is, at the same time as a philosophy of life, a millenary practice that includes a series of techniques and exercises aimed at training the mind so that we can end up recognizing the content of the mind without identifying with it.
It is widely used to reduce anxiety and stress and to improve the quality of life of people, many of whom report feeling happier, more at peace and harmony, after meditating.
According to studies developed by the American Johns Hopkins Medicine center, practicing meditation for 30 minutes a day is enough to reduce, in some way, symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
Before starting to put meditation into practice, it is advisable to follow a series of basic premises, or steps, that you must follow in order, and that will help you to make the practice the most useful. For this, we propose the following, from the coach and writer Miriam Subirana, which we can find in her book “Mental Serenity” (Obelisco, 2011):
- Choose a quiet and pleasant place to do it, with soft lighting and soft music.
- Sit in the dream with your back straight and without tension; Take a deep breath with your arms relaxed.
- Choose a point in your visual field and leave your gaze there; let distractions disappear.
- Start observing your thoughts without judging or holding them back.
- Create positive thoughts and images; visualize them for a few minutes.
- Close your eyes for a moment, and let the silence envelop you.
Now, you can start putting meditation into practice through the exercises to meditate at home that you will see here.
7 exercises to easily meditate at home
The 7 exercises that we propose are the following:
1. Exercise focused on breathing
The first of the exercises to meditate at home is a very basic one focused on working the breath, since this is a key element of this practice. It is normal that, if we have never meditated, at first it is difficult for us to control our breath and concentrate for so long.
So, the first step is to focus on breathing, and try to forget about the other distracting elements in the environment. When thoughts appear in your mind, don’t get carried away by them, just let them flow while still paying attention to your breathing.
2. Objective observation exercise
Another of the exercises to meditate at home, which can be progressively added to the previous one, is one in which the observation of thoughts is put into practice in an objective way. It is about sitting down, with your shoulders and arms relaxed (as we have seen in one of the steps in the introduction), and letting the thoughts flow, in silence.
At first it will be normal to have a multitude of thoughts; we should focus on observing them, without intervening, without recreating ourselves in them, without judging them. We will be spectators of them, and we will have to work so that, little by little, they pass and we do not go with them.
A trick that can help you to be more aware of your thoughts without judging them, is the following: imagine that your mind is a river that is flowing, and that each thought is a trunk; you must visualize how the logs are passing, without getting on any of them or trying to stop them.
3. Exercise to create positive thoughts
The next of the exercises to meditate at home, like the previous one, can be added to the initial breathing exercises. It consists of creating positive thoughts and images as we practice meditation (closing our eyes and paying attention to our breathing).
The images can last a few minutes in our mind (although the time can also be worked and enlarged, as well as the precision of the images). The objective of this exercise is twofold; on the one hand, to relax the mind, and on the other, to foster in us a more positive and serene attitude towards life and towards oneself.
4. Countdown exercise
Another recommended exercise is the “countdown”; its objective is to improve concentration, inhibiting distracting stimuli. The exercise consists of placing ourselves in a relaxed position, with our eyes closed, and starting to count backwards little by little.
It can be done whispering or mentally. We can start from high numbers (for example one hundred), and work backwards until we reach zero.
5. Body Scan Exercise
Another widely known home meditation exercise is the “Body Scan”. It is about reviewing the different areas of our body mentally, focusing our attention on the sensations that each one of them produces.
Like the rest of the exercises, we will put it into practice by initially placing ourselves in a comfortable and relaxed position. First we will relax the whole body, and then we will leave the mind blank.
Little by little, we will focus our attention on each of the parts of our body (normally it is done by muscle groups). It is an exercise to connect with the body, to self-observe it without judging it, accepting the information and sensations that it provides us. Normally, what is done is to start with the toes, and work upwards (up to the head).
6. Exercise with movement
So far we have talked about exercises to meditate at home where the movement did not appear; this one does. The ideal, yes, would be to do it in a place where nature predominates (for example, the field or the beach), although at home we can do it quietly if we have a garden, terrace or a more or less large home.
It consists of taking conscious walks, while we focus our attention on the sensations of our body, on the Sun, the sound of nature itself, the emotions that all this generates, etc.
7. Canvas exercise
Finally, the last of the exercises to meditate at home that we propose is one of static meditation, which refers to the metaphor of “the mind as a canvas”. We will start by closing our eyes and concentrating on our breathing.
We will imagine that our mind is a blank canvas, and that we are mentally throwing each of the thoughts and images that appear in our mind to said canvas. We do not have to do it with everyone, but with those we choose.
This exercise includes a small reflection on why one or another thought has appeared, what use it can have, what feelings it causes us, etc. Finally, we can imagine that the painted canvas moves, has life, and we can even project ourselves onto it and analyze it from the inside (or from the outside).
- Gen, L. (1995). Calming the Mind. Snow Lion Publications. Book on Buddhist methods for developing single pointed concentration.
- Lutz et. to the; Slagter, HA; Dunne, JD; Davidson, RJ. (2008). Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation. Trends in cognitive sciences 12 (4): 163-9.
- Subirana, M. (2011). Mental serenity. Obelisco Editions.