The Ultimate Guide to Resting Awareness Meditation – Benefits and How to do it Successfully

Resting awareness, the meditation with the least about of instructions, might be the hardest to accomplish.

person resting in a meditation
Photo by Motoki Tonn

But, it sounds so easy, just rest your awareness. 

Simple right?

In actuality, resting awareness, while providing amazing benefits to the mind and body, is actually quite difficult to do.

Keep reading to find out all the benefits of resting awareness, a complete how to guide, tips for success, and much more!

What is Resting Awareness Meditation

Resting awareness meditation is truly aimed to rest and relax the mind. Unlike other meditations where you focus your attention on something, such as your breath, resting awareness meditation simply requires you to be.

Simply allowing the mind to rest, and if a thought comes to you, you are to allow it to slip away and drift. 

Think about it like drifting in a river instead of paddling upstream.

Benefits of Resting Awareness Meditation

Meditation by itself has great benefits, like improving emotional wellbeing.

The benefits of resting awareness are much the same.

Resting awareness can help reduce stress in the body. This is done by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the body responsible for relaxing us.

In this state, it is easier to find calm and peace, instead of experiencing constant fight or flight.

Seriously, just thinking about that bill you have to pay can send your mind working and adrenaline rushing. This is the sympathetic nervous system and it needs the parasympathetic nervous system to calm it down.

Resting awareness meditation can also help reduce depression, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD, as the activity itself enhances the mind’s ability to process thoughts.

This meditation can increase self-awareness, decrease negative thoughts, and increase positive self-talk as well (self-talk is defined as the form in which we refer to ourselves). 

With resting awareness, there is no judgment of thoughts, therefore it becomes easier to practice positivity.

How to do a Resting Awareness Meditation

Simply resting and letting go of thoughts, allowing the mind to drift can seem very weird at first.

We have a tendency to overthink, overanalyze, and worry about the past and future.

Below are the simple steps for practicing resting awareness meditations.

1. Find a Quiet Space

Find a quiet or silent space where you will not be interrupted. Sit or lie down comfortably. 

Make sure there is nothing to distract you, such as your cell phone, computer, or anyone else. 

Take a few deep breaths to start, relaxing the body and quieting the mind.

Try to relax any tension held in the muscles, breathing slowly and deeply.

2. Rest the Mind

Unlike focused attention, visualization, or self-reflection meditations, simply allow the mind to rest. 

You may be aware of what surrounds you, of your body, of the air.

Do not try to think certain thoughts or force certain emotions. Allow the mind to drift quietly in the present moment.

3. Do Not Grasp Thoughts Tightly

If thoughts do enter the mind, allow them to simply drift away quietly and calmly. Do not try to hold onto a certain thought.

4. Open Your Eyes and Access How You Feel

Good job completing the meditation! Take note of how you feel and self-reflect on what.

Tips on Successfully Practicing Resting Awareness

Resting awareness, like any other meditation, is a habit that can be cultivated.

Here are some tips to try and practice a resting awareness meditation successfully:

  • Find a comfortable space – make sure you are in a good place to meditate, with no distractions. Turn off electronics and sit comfortably. Do not meditate in bed as we associate bed with sleep.
  • Breathe Deeply – breathing deeply can help physically calm the body and quiet the mind.
  • No Judgement Allowed – don’t worry if thoughts enter your head, it is natural. Instead of getting frustrated or angry, simply allow the thought to go, like sand between your fingertips.
  • Practice Daily – Making meditation a habit is a great way to improve! Try to set a time each day to meditate.

The Takeaway

Resting awareness meditations sound easy, but really, when do we allow ourselves to do nothing but exist?

This meditation has many benefits such as improved mental health, decreased stress, and increased self-perception.

Try to practice daily at the same time to form a habit and slowly increase the meditation time once you feel comfortable with the practice.

Remember, fitness is a journey that begins with a single step!

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