March 31, 2008

Finding Your Inner Mindfulness

Many people with chronic illnesses -- like lupus -- are finding that meditation helps them cope better. Meditation is easy to learn -- and most anyone can do it. But some experts suggest that first-timers work with an instructor.

If you prefer to go it alone, here are some tips that may help.

RSVP for enlightenment. Reserve a good time to meditate, so you won't be worrying about other appointments and obligations. Find a quiet space where you can be alone. And sit however you feel most comfortable: cross-legged, on a chair, or on a cushion.

Take baby steps. Begin by focusing on your breathing. Concentrate on inhaling, filling your nose and belly. Then exhale, and feel your body relax. Start with three minutes of breathing each day for one week. Increase to at least 10 minutes a day.

Let distractions happen. It's normal for your mind to wander. If you lose your concentration, don't judge yourself. Just take note of the distraction, and return to your rhythmic breathing. If you get frustrated with frequent distractions, consider meditating with an audiotape or DVD. "Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn comes highly recommended. You can also search the Web to find information on various methods of meditation.

Be consistent. Try to practice at the same time every day, and don't give up after a couple of tries. Consistency is an important part of discipline.

Taken from the Spring 2004 issue of Lupus Now magazine. Written by Emily Wojcik.

1 comment:

chronic chick said...

Thanks for sharing this information. A gentle reminder to me to get back to doing it....