Meditation

To meditate you don't have to be an expert! You just need a few minutes, and to follow the instructions.

At the beginning of the exercise, find a comfortable place to sit, such as a sofa or a comfortable pillow that can be placed on the floor.  Turn off your cell phone and other devices that are likely to disturb your concentration.  Sit in a comfortable position, preferably with a straight back and your feet comfortably placed on the ground.  Focus on an object or on specific point in the room. The exercise takes 5-10 minutes.

Now that you are seated in a comfortable position, take three deep, slow breaths. With every breath you feel pressure coming out and new air coming in and filling your lungs. Go back to breathing normally, without trying to influence the amount of air you inhale or your rate of respiration. Keep breathing normally.  Focus all your attention on your breathing.  Note the movement of the air entering your body through your nose or mouth and then as you exhale it out of your body. Really try to feel what the air feels like when it reaches the various respiratory organs.

Pay attention to your breath without trying to change it.  Maybe you can tell whether the air is entering through the mouth or through the nose?  How do your respiratory organs feel as the air passes through them when entering and exiting the body?  What is the temperature of the air when it enters the body and when it leaves?

Slowly, you can try to notice the air as it passes from the nose or mouth to the windpipe. It is likely that you will be able to feel your ribs rising and falling and how breathing changes the volume of your abdomen.

While observing your breathing, different thoughts will come to you.  You may hear close or distant voices or perhaps different noises or physical feelings.  When such stimulation comes, note it and try to identify it as a "thought," "sensation" or “voice".  Then go back to concentrating on your breathing. Try to regain concentration without self-criticism.

Continue curiously paying attention to your breathing, without expecting a specific breath. Remember:  You are breathing in a way that is right for you.  Continue to breathe this way.

It is natural for your attention to wander to thoughts or feelings such as happiness, sadness, anger or frustration, and perhaps to different sensory stimuli such as pain or fatigue. If you notice them, observe the stimulation as it appears, without wanting it to be different, then go back to paying attention to breathing.  Pay attention to the air that enters and to the air that comes out, the movements of your ribs and your abdomen.  Focus on your current breathing without trying to influence it.  Continue paying attention to the air as it moves in and out of your body without trying to anticipate the sensations.  Focus on the breathing as it is right now.

Before ending of the exercise, take three slow, deep breaths.  When you feel comfortable and open your eyes.  You are invited to continue to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings as you get up and continue your day.

This site was created by a team of social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists to provide accessible help to people experiencing emotional distress as a result of the world Coronavirus crisis.  In order for us to know if the site is effective for you, we ask that you complete a brief survey for research purposes.