How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation | Zachary Phillips | Skillshare

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How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation

teacher avatar Zachary Phillips, Meditation, Writing, Self-Improvement

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What is Mindfulness exactly?

    • 3. How To Mindfully Meditate

    • 4. Dealing With Distracting Mental Phenomena

    • 5. Guided Meditation (1 minute)

    • 6. How Meditation Helps Your Mental Health

    • 7. Developing an Ongoing Practice

    • 8. Class Project: Seven Day Meditation Journal

    • 9. Further Resources

    • 10. Quick Recap

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About This Class

Learn how to mindfully meditate and get control of your mental state.

Daily meditation will help you to reduce the severity and duration of distressing thoughts, emotions, moods and mind-frames by getting you out of your head and into the present moment.

It will give you some space between you and your mental phenomena, allowing you to observe what is happening without falling into it completely.

It will show you that you are not your thoughts, rather that you are the thing having those thoughts. Knowing this is one thing, but experiencing it is quite another. Over time, and with practice, meditation will show you that.

It has helped me to think clearer and handle stressful situations and interactions better. It has increased my ability to focus and decreased the symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as helped me to completely quit sugar and alcohol.

In this course you will learn how to mindfully meditate and to establish it as a daily practice in your life.

The class project will be a seven day meditation journal, where you will note down your progress, your successes and any challenges you faced, receiving feedback from myself and your fellow students.

Contact Me:
Website: | Social @zacpphillips

Further resources:

Insight Timer: Readings & Discussions Of My Poetry

'Meditate' - ch:1.9 of How To Get Your Sh!t Together - Zachary Phillips 

Mindfulness In Plain English - Bhante Gunaratana (book)
The Mind Illuminated - John Yates (book)
Waking Up - Sam Harris (app)

1) Khory, B, et al. 2013, ‘Mindfulness Based Therapy: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis’ (2013), Clinical Psychological Review

2) Sedmeier, P, et al 2012, ‘The Psychological Effects Of Meditation’, Psychological Bulletin.

3) Eberth, J. & Sedmeier, P. 2012, ‘The Effects Of Mindfulness: A Meta-Analysis’, Mindfulness.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Zachary Phillips

Meditation, Writing, Self-Improvement


Zachary Phillips is a mental health advocate, author and mindset coach. In these roles he has helped thousands of people move from a place of barely surviving to passionately thriving.

He is the author of seven books including: How To Get Your Sh!t Together and Mindfulness: A Guidebook To The Present Moment, and the creator of the Depresso Espresso web comic.

He is also an instructor on Skillshare and Insight Timer, teaching mindfulness meditation, personal development, and creative writing.

He is a qualified school teacher, personal trainer, martial arts coach, and disability support worker. Working in these industries has given him a depth of experience teaching across multiple topics, to learners of all ages and ability levels. It has also enabled him to condense... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi there. Welcome to the course Mouthfuls. Meditation for your mental health. My name? Zachary Phillips. I'm an online making love advocate and an author. In these roles, I share my experiences with mental illness, trauma and the recovery process, providing guidance to thousands of people who are looking to go from a place off just surviving toe. One of passionately thriving mountainous meditation is one of the four pillars of my mental health management plan, alongside exercise, writing and regular therapy sessions. Learning mindfulness meditation will help you to reduce the severity and duration of distressing thoughts, emotions, moods and mind frames works. By getting you out of your head and into the present moment. It will give you some space between you and you mental phenomena allowing you to observe what is happening without falling into a completely. It will show you that you are not your thoughts rather that you were the thing. Having those thoughts knowing this is one thing, but experiencing it is quite another. Over time and with practice, of course, mindfulness meditation will show you that, and you mental health will improve exponentially. It is hoping to think clearer, handle stressful situations, any directions better reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as help me to completely quick alcohol and sugar. In this course, you will learn how to mindfully meditate as well implemented as a daily practice in your life. The class project will be a seven day mindfulness meditation journal, where you'll note down your progress, your successes and any challenges you faced. I will be getting your feedback alongside your fellow class Nights also provide some recommendations, and resource is for those of you who want to delve deep into this topic as well. It's free access to the meditation chapter off my book, How to Get Your Shit Together. So what are you writing? Full click down below and let's get started. 2. What is Mindfulness exactly?: So what exactly is Mindfulness? Basically, it's a state of nonjudgmental attention to the present moment. It's being focused on the here and now, not ruminating on the past or anxiously planning the future. It's a state of being completely present. Now, that sounds kind of technical. So I'm gonna go into a couple of examples that you felt yourself. So think of a time where, for example, you've been watching a movie or looking at the sunset or potentially eating some dinner or talking to someone. And during that time you were completely focused on the activity. You weren't thinking about anything else. You were just there. Yeah, you might have the last of the whole time, but for that time we were just completely present. That moment you were mindful of your experience, but there would be times where you've done those same exact activities, and your bean, you know, thinking about the past or worried about the future work project or just not really present . And by the time the end of the interaction happens, you realize you just sort of didn't really get anything from your mentally distracted. In those instances, you probably say that you weren't mindful. I want you to feel mindful now. So what you going to do is bring your attention to your fate. Focus on what you can feel your shoes or the ground beneath your feet. Really? Just bring your attention there. Take a deep, long breath in through the nurse and out through the mouth. And as I'm talking as you're listening to my voice really draw your attention to what you're feeling through your feet right now. I'm gonna pulls for 10 seconds whilst you do this. Okay? So in the next video, I'm going to teach you, have a mindfully, meditate by focusing on the sensation of the breath, entering and leaving the nurse. Let's get into 3. How To Mindfully Meditate: mafias. Meditation is a skill, and like any skill, it could be developed with consistent practice. Think of daily meditation like a gym session. You know, if you trained once, you won't notice any gains. But if you train consistently for a year, you certainly will. Mindfulness meditation is exactly the same, so you're gonna need to establish an ongoing practice daily. But more on this later. That's cool. Mountainous meditation is deceptively simple. You said a time. Take a seat, close your eyes and focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the nose. And if your mind wanders, you gently return it back to focusing on the sensation of the breath entering leaving the nose. That's it. It's continually returning that focus back to the sensation of the breath. Let's give it a try now, so we're gonna take five slow, mindful breaths. So as I'm talking only to take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth , and then just let your breath just go as it normally would don't force it. Don't hold it. Just observing what you do as I'm talking is just focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the nose as it comes in. You're focusing on the sensation coming in as it goes out. You folks, another sensation going out. I'm gonna start talking for the moment, and I want you to focus for five breaths just on the sensation off the breath, entering and leaving the nose. If your mind wanders, that's okay. You'll bring it back. Let's do it. Okay, Dash cam. So in the next video, I'm gonna talk to you about troubleshooting the mental phenomena that's coming up and might be distracting you away from the breath. But for one tense and purposes, you could start meditating. Right now, I recommend starting with one minute sessions and very slowly over time, increasing that time 20 minutes. Sessions were good. Goto aimed towards but as high as your lack. Honestly, there is no upper limit to this, and really, there's no lower limit, either. Five breaths done at any time will show you some benefit because doing something is infinitely better than nothing. So let's overcome some of those barriers that might be distracting you and taking you away from that focus 4. Dealing With Distracting Mental Phenomena: a mental phenomena is anything that distracts. You will take your attention away from the focus of the breath on nos. These could be your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memory, feelings of boredom, sleepiness or even physical pain. The good thing is, is that they can all be treated the same way when you're meditating. When you notice that when you've noticed you've become distracted by them and you're sort of focused on them too much, simply return the focus back to the sensation of the breath, entering and leaving the nose. Just acknowledge it gently and return your focus back. I really wanted to sell him if he meditation is not about blessing out, you know, just sort of going into this zone of relaxation. Rather, it's about returning the focus off yourself back onto the breath so you find stuff getting distracted or discouraged because you keep losing focus. Realize that noticing that distraction is actually what meditation is all about noticing it and gently returning yourself back to the breath should actually be celebrated. Returning your attention back to the sensation of the breath. Entering and leaving the nose is meditation, your training of focus. If you find yourself struggling. One of the best ways that you could maintain that focus on the breath is by counting. I use this when I start my meditation, when I find that my brain is very distracted. All just I'm struggling with the session, using my inner voice. That's Know that lad, you know. Internally, I will count one with H in breath and then one with a H AP Breath and then two with H in breath and two with the out breath. And someone will do this all the way up to 10. So look something like one one to to three and someone right? And after get to 10 I'll sort of go back and start again initially, even counting to 10 and maintaining that focus, even with the counting for most people will be a bit of a struggle. But over time you will improve. You'll get better at it and noticing the improvements. Noticing that you can get to 10 without losing the focus on the sensation of the breath, entering or leaving the nose will be sort of proof to you that you're gaining ability to focus through meditation. Yeah, so let's give it a try. You're gonna do a one minute meditation, practice down, and if you find that counting helps or you want to use it, do it. 5. Guided Meditation (1 minute): so follow is a one minute mindfulness meditation video, and I encourage you to return back to this video. Maybe put it in your links or somewhere that you can access it because you'll be able to use this video as a guided meditation of salts. What I want you to do right now is take a saint either in a chair across, lay it on the ground and gently close your eyes. Take a big date birth in through the nose and out for the mouth. I want you to keep that breathing process going into the meditation stunts. What I'm going to do is in a moment I'm going to stop talking and I want to draw your attention to the sensation of the breath, entering and leaving the nice That's it. If you mind want us, just bring it back. If you mind what is again, just gently bring it back. What I'm going to do is I'm going to click my fingers like this to stop the session and in 20 seconds and then it 40 seconds onto another click like this. So you know how far along you going? Let's get started. Okay. So if you found this practice beneficial. I would like to use this video whenever you like, as a form of guided meditation. So feel free to note it down and come back to it whenever you need to. In the next video, we're going to be talking about the benefits off meditation for your mental health. 6. How Meditation Helps Your Mental Health: So how does mindfulness meditation actually impact your mental health positively in three classrooms down below? I've put some links to some meta analysis studies. These air, basically a scientist, has looked at all of the data, all of the research on meditation and sort of found what they've all found. When you combine all of that together, you can check out the links below. But the basic summer is this. They've linked Montana's meditation to reductions in anxiety and depression as well. A stress levels the enhancement of psychological well being, as well as positive impacts upon relationships, emotional state and attention levels. So, as I said in the introduction, Martinez meditation is one of the main pillars of my mental health management. For me, it's vital that I do it daily. I've experienced all of those previously mentioned benefits and much more. The best way to describe what it does for me is that it makes me feel like I have mental space space between the intrusive thoughts space between the anxiety and the depression, in which I have an opportunity to take action to form self care, right, it's it gives me the opportunity to notice the warning signs of an upcoming bout of mental illness. And then I could take action to prevent it. And you know, it doesn't always work. But when there's bats of mental illness, do come Mindfulness meditation reduces the severity and the duration of its impact. Don't get me wrong. Marvelous meditation isn't a magic cure all, but it certainly does work. I've learned that the longer I go without meditation, the longer I missed those gaps, the worst my mental state becomes, and conversely, the longer the more I chained together, the more days in a row of mindfulness meditation that I make, the better I get. So now I treat it like medicine. I take it daily. So on that topic in the next video or teach, you have to develop and maintain an ongoing meditation practice daily 7. Developing an Ongoing Practice: so much for his meditation works best when it's done daily, and things that had to be done daily are often completed more often if it's scheduled into the day. Personally, I prefer first thing in the morning, my child asleep, the house is quiet and I'm alone. And once I complete the month in his meditation, I'm feeling better, and I know that I've done something positive for myself that will benefit me for the rest of the day. Most mindfulness meditation experts agree, and they suggest the morning as well, because you're more focused. You haven't eaten and haven't faced any issues off the day. Therefore, you're in the best mental state to meditate. I found that if I delay it to later in the day, I often forget to do it entirely, so I find that just getting it done out of the way is great. I follow my meditation session with an exercise session for the exact same reason. Meditating late at night isn't the best idea, in my opinion, because you start to become drowsy and fall asleep, and this is not at all the point. We're not mindfully meditating as a sleep aid. That's something different. So, regardless work and experiment on what works best for you and your life circumstances. Try the morning. If that doesn't work, try the middle of the day. Try late at night. It's up to you, but find a time of day that works for you and stick to it. I found it quite useful to have a place that I can return to regularly. You know, a meditation spot this could be inside or outside doesn't really matter, but just make sure it's warm and comfortable. Give yourself much. Privacy is possible. If you can close the door, turn off your phone. You know, remember, this is your time, perhaps the only time in the day that you're gonna completely dedicate to self care. So make the most of it. Talk with your family and let them know that what you're doing will benefit them in the sense that you will be a better parent. A bit of spouse better sibling. Because you'll be comma, you'll be more focused. Does that make sense? Let them know that you need this time and what you need from them, namely to not be distracted or interrupted. Obviously, unless it's an emergency for the duration of the meditation, sit and side benefit of this, letting them know this and then seeing you meditate. My encourage them to meditate as well. So it's always good to model this behavior, particularly for young kids or for anyone in general. If you think you'll struggle to find the time to meditate, I want you to take stock of what you do in your day. Is that some television time you could cut back on or behalf some time that you spend on social media? Regardless, in reality, Montana's meditation will actually make you time. As your focus improves, you'll be far more efficient at performing the task that you need to perform and far better rejecting the ones that you don't really need to get done. I found this to be the case prior to meditating. My brain would be everywhere, would be doing 10 things at once, and nothing would get done. But the more I meditate, the more I'm able to do one thing at a time and just knock it out of the park, right. It has made me time. I could do so much more because I'm dedicating time to meditation gains you times like investing. Even if you still think you got going at the time, Start meditating each day with just 10 mindful breaths. That's it. And grow from there. Just 10 Okay? Because doing something even something small is infinitely better than doing nothing. In the next video, I'm gonna run you through the class project and let me know how it will help your meditation practice. 8. Class Project: Seven Day Meditation Journal: in the class project section, you'll see the seven day Meditation General Project. It's a fairly simple project to complete, because for the next seven days you're going to track your meditation progress. You'll note down the time and duration of the city, you know, down what went well and what you struggled with. That's it. I can't emphasize enough that keeping a meditation journal is a great way to stay focused, stay motivated and to stay accountable. I encourage you to keep this journal going well beyond the duration of this course. You're gonna upload the journal each day to the problem of the class project section, and I will give you feedback alongside your fellow classmates. I encourage you to give them feedback as well, because talking through and teaching someone else something is one of the best ways to learn yourself. So upload your progress and engage with them. And like I said, I can't help you unless you upload the journal and share. So please do so and let's get ourselves meditating and improve. Sounds good 9. Further Resources: So I was on this course to get you meditating right now, based on what we've already covered, you certainly can do so. But if you after a little bit more information, if you want to go a bit deeper, there's a couple of resource is that I would recommend. The 1st 1 is a book called The Mind Illuminated by John Yates. The 2nd 1 is Mindfulness in Plain English by VH Gonna lantana. But these books approach mountain of meditation from sort of opposite perspectives, but they complement each other very well and will complement this course quite well. If you feel like a guided meditation would help, please feel free to release into the guided meditation that we did earlier or download the app Waking up by seven Harris. This app is great. I've done the whole thing and it even has a section get directly for kids. I can't recommend it higher. Finally, if you click the link in the class notes below, you'll get access to the meditation chapter off my book. How to get your shit together for free. Check it out 10. Quick Recap: remember mindfulness meditation is the act of returning to focus back to the breath. Whenever you notice your attention wandering, just gently acknowledging a return. Your focus back to the sensation off the breath, entering or leaving the nose. Do this for any mental phenomena that arises. Also remember that as with everything, consistency is key. A daily practice is essential to see the benefits, so start with one minute. Start with one minute daily and slowly improve. Slowly. Increase. Keep practicing. That's the key. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by going too hard too soon, bring it back. But just don't stop. Meditate daily and you will see benefits to your mental health. I really want to see your progress on this. So remember that Upload your meditation journal each day and I'll give you some feedback. And finally, please, Please, please review this class. It really does help above you. There will be a little thing saying Hey, what do you think of this class? Please take that 15 seconds to say. Yet I enjoyed it really does help. I have a lot more classes down there, helping you with the meditation and mindfulness as well as just mental health in general. So if you're interested, clique that follow button and you'll receive email updates when they're released. And speaking of following, if you want to follow me on social media, I can be found everywhere at Zach Api Phillips or on my website at Zachary Hyphen Phillips . Don't come. I look forward to seeing you in my next classes. Thank you.