How to Start Practicing Mindfulness & Meditation

Apicha Community Health Center Apr 13, 2020  

Apicha-Wellness_at_Home-BLOG-12

During these trying times, our mental health can take a hit. It's no secret that social distancing and quarantining has disrupted our daily lives. This can make it a challenge to stay in the moment and find healthy ways to cope. That's why mindfulness could be a great tool. In this blog, we're going to discuss everything you need to know about mindfulness and how you can practice it.

Apicha CHC - iStock

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a way of thinking. It is our ability to be present, aware of where we are and what we are going -- and remaining calm despite any challenges or worries. It's easy to become focused on things that stress us our or cause anxiety, and our thoughts can be totally consumed with worry. Mindfulness serves as a tool to pull ourselves back into the present, and asks us to focus on our mind and body in the moment.

Why it's good for you

Practicing mindfulness has many mental and physical benefits -- especially now. It's easy to spiral into reading constant news of the COVID-19 pandemic and become fearful, stressed, and anxious. 

But, mindfulness can help. By practicing mindfulness on a daily basis, you can increase it's benefits. Here are a few benefits of practicing mindfulness:

  • Better sleep quality and physical health.
  • Lower depression, anxiety, and perceived stress.
  • Fewer psychological healthcare visits.
Using meditation for mindfulness

A great way to get your feet wet is starting with meditation. Meditation is one of the easiest and common ways to practice mindfulness. Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. There are many ways to meditate, but they all have the following in common:

  • A quiet location with as few distractions as possible.
  • A specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions).
  • A focus of attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath).
  • An open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them).
Apicha CHC - iStock
How to meditate

Most meditation is done by sitting with a particular posture in mind. Here's how to get started:

1. Sit down somewhere. Find a place that you'd like to meditate. You can sit on a chair, your bed, on the floor, or on a floor cushion. Make sure wherever you sit is comfortable. 

2. Find a comfortable position. If you're sitting on the floor, cross your legs in front of you. You can also take whatever seated yoga position you like. If you're sitting in a chair, make sure your feet are resting on the floor. 

3. Straighten your upper body. You don't need to stiffly sit -- simply sit upright and be conscious of holding your body in place (don't hunch over). Make sure your head and shoulders are resting on top of your spine.

4. Place your upper arms parallel to your body. Your hands should naturally rest on the top of your thighs. Adjust to what makes you comfortable, but don't lean too far back or forward.

5. Drop your chin and let your eyes follow. Your gaze will naturally go downward. You can close your eyes if you'd like to, or keep them lowered. 

6. Focus on your breath. Pay attention to the rhythm of your breath as you inhale and exhale. You don't have to manipulate your breathing to be slower -- unless you want to.

7. Be in the moment. With your breathing and body position in place, hang out in the moment. Focus on your breathing. If your mind starts to wander (it will), bring yourself back to focusing on your breathing. 

8. Repeat as needed. You can meditate for as long and as frequently as you want. Setting a timer for five minutes or more is also a good idea. 

Mindfulness & meditation resources for New Yorkers

There are many resources online to help you practice mindfulness and meditation. And for New Yorkers, Headspace has partnered with New York State to provide free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis facing the state and the nation. Headspace is a mental health app focused on easing depression and anxiety through mindfulness and meditation.

New Yorkers across the state can access a specially curated collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep and kids content to help address rising stress and anxiety. Available at www.headspace.com/ny, the collection will also feature Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, who will share special video messages with the people of New York to help offer guidance, support and solidarity. 

Health Clinic New York | Apicha Community Health Center


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

Don't Miss the 2020 Census & Insurance Enrollment Deadlines!

Don't Miss the 2020 Census & Insurance Enrollment Deadlines!

The census and insurance enrollment are two important parts of your life -- and this month is the...
Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs.
What's the Difference Between Nonbinary & Genderqueer?

What's the Difference Between Nonbinary & Genderqueer?

Understanding different identities can be difficult, but it's also incredibly important. And for...
Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Census

Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census is here, and is key to improving quality of life for everyone. If you haven't heard...

"I Swallow Daily" API Artists Discuss PrEP, Stigma & Representation

APIs remain one of the minority groups in NYC that have not seen a decrease in new HIV diagnoses....
Apicha CHC CEO Receives Outstanding Filipinos in America Award

Apicha CHC CEO Receives Outstanding Filipinos in America Award

Apicha CHC is excited to announce our CEO Therese R. Rodriguez will be honored as one of the...
How to Vote Early & On Election Day

How to Vote Early & On Election Day

It's election season, which means you have the opportunity to vote and make your voice heard. In...
Celebrate PrEP Aware Week With Apicha CHC

Celebrate PrEP Aware Week With Apicha CHC

During PrEP Aware Week, from October 25-31, Apicha CHC will be hosting and co-presenting several...
Why You Should Get Your Flu Shot This Year

Why You Should Get Your Flu Shot This Year

Flu season is here, and that means it's time to get your annual flu shot. This year, getting your...
How to Conduct a Breast Self-Exam

How to Conduct a Breast Self-Exam

It's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is most commonly associated with women,...