Meditation Helps with Weight Loss
- Sit for just two minutes. This will seem ridiculously easy, to just meditate for two minutes, but its hard. Start with just two minutes a day for a week. If that goes well, increase by another two minutes and do that for a week. Build your way to 10 minutes, but don’t set that expectation right away, you will be surprised how difficult it can be.
- Do it first thing each morning. It’s easy to say, “I’ll meditate every day,” but then forget to do it. Instead, set a reminder for every morning when you get up, and put a note that says “meditate” somewhere where you’ll see it.
- Don’t get caught up in the how — just do. Don’t worry about where to sit, how to sit, what cushion to use … this is all nice, but it’s not that important. Start just by sitting on a chair, coach, or bed. If you’re comfortable on the ground, sit cross-legged. If you don’t want to sit then lay down, whatever makes you feel relaxed.
- Check in with how you’re feeling. As you first settle into your meditation session, simply check to see how you’re feeling. How does your body feel? What is the quality of your mind? Busy? Tired? Anxious?
- Count your breaths. Now that you’re settled in, turn your attention to your breath. Just place the attention on your breath as it comes in, and follow it through your nose all the way down to your lungs. You can put your hands on your stomach to feel your breath going in and out and moving your stomach up and down.
- Come back when you wander. Your mind will wander. There’s no problem with that. When you notice your mind wandering, smile, and simply gently return to your breath. You might feel a little frustration, but it’s perfectly OK to not stay focused, we all do it. This is the practice, and you won’t be good at it for a little while.
- Be Compassionate. When you notice thoughts and feelings arising during meditation, as they will, look at them with a friendly attitude. See them as friends, not intruders or enemies. They are a part of you, though not all of you. Be friendly and not harsh.
- Don’t worry too much that you’re doing it wrong. You will worry you’re doing it wrong. That’s OK, we all do. You’re not doing it wrong. There’s no perfect way to do it.
- Stay with whatever arises. When thoughts or feelings arise, and they will, stay with them We tend to want to avoid feelings like frustration, anger, anxiety … but try to actually feel the feelings. Be curious about them. Don’t avoid them, this is what causes overeating. We stuff these feelings, don’t address them and eat.
- Get to know yourself. This practice isn’t just about focusing your attention, it’s about learning about you. What’s going on inside there? It’s murky, but by watching your mind wander, get frustrated, avoid difficult feelings … you can start to understand yourself.
- Do a body scan. Another thing you can do, once you become a little better at following your breath, is focus your attention on one body part at a time. Start at the soles of your feet — how do those feel? Slowly move to your toes, the tops of your feet, your ankles, all the way to the top of your head.
- Notice the light and sounds. Another place to put your attention after you’ve practice with your breath for at least a week, is the light all around you. Just keep your eyes on one spot, and notice the light in the room you’re in. Another day, just focus on noticing sounds.
- Really commit yourself. Don’t just say, “Sure, I’ll try this for a couple days.” Really commit yourself to this. In your mind, be locked in, for at least a month.
- You can do it anywhere. If you’re traveling or something comes up in the morning, you can do meditation in your office. In the park. During your commute. As you walk somewhere. Sitting meditation is the best place to start, but in truth, you’re practicing for this kind of mindfulness in your entire life.
- Follow guided meditation. If it helps, you can try following guided meditations to start with. There are tons on YouTube or apps on your phone. CALM is a good one.
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