I am too full of Christmas fare to think too deeply. Instead I am providing a routine for mindful meditation. I stress that it is only the routine which I have developed, and which benefits me greatly. It is an amalgam of ideas put forward by the experts.
Regular users of mindfulness report reduction in anxiety or tension, a sense of peacefulness, a boost of creativity and better sleep. I have experienced all these things over several years.
If you don’t do it regularly, try it. If you do, share your additional or alternative ideas. Then gradually develop your own routine. You will find that it takes a week to a fortnight of regular sessions before you begin to feel the benefit, so don’t try to assess it until you have given it a good run.
Sit in an upright chair, ideally with arms. I use the one I would normally use for my desktop computer.
Close your eyes and look through the lids, noticing the colours and shapes.
Sniff up and down your nose, noticing the changing temperatures.
Use your tongue to explore your mouth, teeth and lips.
Listen for sounds. Do not bother about their origin, just note the noise entering you ears.
Wiggle and relax the joint between your neck and your skull; similarly the join between neck and backbone.
Stiffen and relax your shoulder joints. Note the relaxation. 3x
Hard fist your hands, then experience their slow relaxation. 3x.
Become conscious of your fingertips of both hands resting on your thighs.
Put your hand on the top part of your chest and breathe in and out as fully as possible. Then the main part, then the stomach part. 3x each.
Long breathe in from the bottom of your lungs to the very top. 5x.
(Quickly check the routines above to see if all remains relaxed. Be aware of the whole top part of yourself.)
Pull in and relax your buttocks. 3x.
Tense, in turn, your thighs, calves, and feet. 3x each.
Check back all the way. Try to be aware of the whole of your body from top to toe.
Breathe deeply and quietly, remaining aware of your whole self. (Use cooking timer?) The whole process should, with practice, normally take about 10 minutes. Develop the habit of being aware of yourself in this way from time to time during the day – particularly when you feel harassed, stressed or uncertain.