The positive effect of yoga and meditation is impossible to ignore. Many addiction centers, therapists, and experts around the world use mindfulness practice to help treat addiction and mental health disorders. Read on to learn more about how you can do a seated meditation exercise to help clear your mind and improve your overall health and well-being. If you want to learn more about mindful meditation and how it can help you treat addiction, contact our Lantana, FL addiction treatment center, Lucida Treatment Center. Mindful Meditation Mindful meditation is perfect for beginners and requires no previous knowledge of yoga or meditation. This exercise takes 10 to 15 minutes, and can be used in a variety of contexts: \tIn the morning to start your day \tAt midday to center yourself \tIn the evening to calm your mind before bed \tTo clear the mind before journaling for step work if you are in a 12-step program Seated Meditation: Clearing the Mind To get started on seated meditation, follow the steps below: \tGet in a comfortable position and make sure that you are at ease with no physical discomfort. \tFind a chair that allows you to sit easily upright, with your spine as straight as you can get it. Your knees should be at about the same height as your hips, or better yet, a little lower. You should be sitting on your sit-bones, not leaning back on your buttocks. \tRoll your shoulders, loosen up your neck, or do an easy stretch. When you are ready, place your palms, facing down, on your knees or thighs. \tClose your eyes, and begin to pay attention to your breathing. Take a few big, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose, expanding your chest as fully as you can, and exhale through your mouth. Each time you inhale, you will gain length in your spine. Additionally, as you exhale, try to keep this length, while staying relaxed. Take four or five breaths. Inhale through your nose, expand your chest and exhale through your mouth. \tNow, change your breath. As you inhale, allow your lower abdomen to expand, and as you exhale, allow it to contract. Breathe like this until you get the hang of it. It should not take more than five or six breaths to feel natural. This is called belly breathing. It is the style of breathing most commonly found in meditation. \tOnce you get used to breathing like this, start to count as you inhale and exhale. Inhale on a slow four-count, and exhale on a slow four-count. Do this until you are comfortable controlling your inhalations and exhalations. \tNow that you are used to sitting still and controlling your breath, it is time to start the exercise, which is called \u201cThe 10-Breath Practice.\u201d The 10-Breath Practice During the 10-breath practice, the goal is to keep your mind focused fully on your breathing for 10 breaths. You can accomplish this by giving your mind something to focus on while you breathe. If your mind wanders, it does not matter. All that matters is that you bring it back to the exercise. It does not matter how many times your mind wanders. Every time, just call it back, gently and peacefully. Continue with the following steps to perform the 10-Breath Practice: \tAs you inhale and exhale evenly on a four-count, imagine the number \u201c1\u201d as a picture in your mind. Personalize your picture. It can be a simple number on a blackboard, like in grade school, it can be a bright, colorful, flashing, neon sign, it can be a cartoon, it can be drawn with a Sharpie on a piece of poster board, it can be crayon on construction paper, or it can be an elaborate painting hanging on a wall in a museum. All that matters is that you see the number \u201c1\u201d in your mind in some way. \tRepeat this process for the numbers \u201c2\u201d through \u201c10.\u201d Remember that if your mind wanders, it does not matter. All that matters is that you bring it back to the exercise. Every time, just call it back, gently and peacefully, to the number where you left off. \tWhen you finish your exhalation after the number \u201c10,\u201d take a moment to sit still. Slowly, at your own pace, open your eyes, and let your breathing return to whatever feels natural. Do a quick mental inventory and focus on how your mind feels. Also, do a quick physical assessment and focus on how your body feels. You can even do an easy stretch, just as you did at the beginning of the exercise. Benefits of Mindful Meditation After you have completed this practice, you have learned a way in which you can help effectively treat stress, anxiety, and depression. If it was challenging for you, do not worry. You can feel good that you accomplished something. Here is a secret: almost no one can actually focus only on his or her breathing for 10 breaths. In fact, there is an old saying: \u201cOne who can breathe 10 times without the mind wandering has achieved enlightenment.\u201d So, if your mind went away for a little while, do not worry. Use this exercise in your recovery program, whenever you want to clear your mind, calm your emotions, and center yourself. Contact Lucida Treatment Center at for more information on our treatment center and how you can cope with your anxiety and depression. Remember: sometimes recovery does not happen one day at a time, or even one step at a time. Sometimes it is as simple as taking one breath at a time.