Establishing a Formal Practice of Mindfulness: Meditation

As mentioned, mindfulness is a way of life that’s practiced in two interrelated ways:
through formal and informal practice. To truly integrate mindfulness into your life, it’s
important that you do both types of practice. Each complements the other. Use them
every day to reduce panic and live with more ease in your body and mind.
The cultivation of a formal practice of mindfulness begins with setting an intention
and deciding on a time to do it.

Try to prioritize this time for your own self-care.You deserve this, and it’s truly a gift to yourself that no one else can give you. Find a place that’s quiet and comfortable, at a time during the day when you won’t be interrupted.

Turn off your phone and any other devices, and let your family know you’re going to be
quiet and meditate for a while; ask that you not be disturbed.
The best time to formally practice mindfulness is whenever you can do it. Some
people like to practice before they get out of bed. Others like to practice after their
morning stretches. Others practice during their lunch hour or in the afternoon. Many
have found it helpful to practice after coming home from work or after dinner. Some
even practice before they go to sleep. Find a time that works for you and let your practice
grow.
Once you find a time that works, try to practice daily, even if you don’t really feel
like it. We suggest thirty minutes for many of the meditations, although you can practice
them for shorter periods of time if need be. Even five minutes of practice is better than
none at all. If your formal practice of mindfulness is spotty, don’t beat yourself up or
give up on it. Remember to treat yourself with kindness and compassion, and encourage
yourself as you would a friend.
In this book you’ll learn the formal mindful practices of mindful breathing, the body
scan, mindful inquiry meditation, sitting meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and the
“web of life” meditation as meaningful and direct ways to deal with panic.

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