The Mindful Meditation Technique is a relaxation technique meant to relieve stress and improve health. IMCS Clinical Quality Assurance Advisor Cal Robinson Psy.D., explains this technique, its benefits and exercises that teach you how to practice this skill.
What is the Mindful Meditation Technique?
Mindfulness is about entering into a state of relaxed concentration, focusing on what is happening in the present moment by gaining greater awareness from the senses, that is, what you hear, see, feel, and smell. Observing and receiving information from the senses without modifying or judging it engages the mind to refocus on the here and now.
Benefits of using this technique:
- Relieves stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces chronic pain
- Improves sleep
- Promotes emotional health
- Enriches self-awareness
Other details that support this technique:
In addition to the exercises included in this article, more information on mindfulness meditation can be found by looking up MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), MBCPM (Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management) or the work of Jon Kabat Zinn Ph.D.
Mindful meditation exercise:
- Lie on the floor or a bed and close your eyes.
- Beginning with either your head or your feet, become aware of each part of your body, paying attention to one area at a time.
- If you come to an area that feels especially tight or painful, stop and focus your breath on this area until you feel that area relax.
- To aid you, visualize something calming, peaceful, or healing.
Try Out the Left Hand of Mindfulness
If you’ve ever hurt your dominant hand and been forced to perform tasks with the other hand, you know how often you use your dominant hand without even thinking about it.
- Try performing everyday tasks with your less-dominant hand, for instance,
- using a fork
- getting dressed
- reaching for things
- Making a conscious effort to use this “other” hand will force your brain to think about what it’s doing.
- By having to think about your daily routine, your mind won’t fill with unwanted thoughts.
Put yourself “on notice”
This exercise has you take notice of your surroundings, and then add up all the little details you take notice of that you hadn’t before.
- Things in your house, like how the floor feels under your bare feet, the scent of your clothing, or a thread hanging from the bottom of a drape.
- Things outside, like the smell of the wind, a wriggling leaf on a branch, or the sound a stream makes flowing over rocks.
- Remember to put yourself “on notice” at the same time each day, like when you eat lunch, go for a walk or run errands.
For more small group exercises and practice in clear communication, be sure to read more in our Practice Exercises blog series and learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that change outcomes.
Cal Robinson, Psy.D., MSCP, is IMCS’s Clinical Oversight Psychologist in Clinical Psychopharmacology. He received his Psy.D. Doctor of Psychology and board certification in medical psychology from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. He has over 30 years’ experience in performing psychological assessments and leading individual and group therapy, and 20 years treating behavioral health patients in many areas, including pain management, chronic pain, anger management, addiction and PTSD. Dr. Robinson has also served as Health Consultant for the U.S. Air Force, working as Clinical Director for pain management.
IMCS – Integrated Medical Case Solutions – is the premier behavioral medicine network for pain and trauma response with evidence-based outcomes and a proven track record for transforming workers’ compensation cases. IMCS makes intervention efficient with a national network of 1,500+ psychologists and psychiatrists in all 50 states.