How to motivate yourself to build your mindfulness practice, and an easy way to see if its working:
At the start and end of any meditation check your baseline.
Scan your body from head to toe and check what it is you are aware of, without trying to fix anything.
Pay particular attention to the quality of:
- Your thoughts,
- Your physical feelings – areas of tension, relaxation, comfort or discomfort in your body
- Other sensations – areas of hot or cold or tingling sensations for instance
- Emotions – happy, sad, angry, confused etc
This is a good way of reinforcing that what you are doing in your meditations is working – it’s producing a change. Or if there is no change after a meditation has been tried for a while, perhaps recognizing that it is time to try a different meditation technique, or to enlist the support of a class of some kind.
Its also something you can do through the day to become more mindful, to take a step back and see how you are doing – particularly useful in stressful or triggering situations!
Its something I’ve used with clients who are new to mindfulness or perhaps a little skeptical to show them that it works. After a 3-5 minutes guided meditation their stress and anxiety has usually dropped significantly!