Today I want to talk to you all about meditation. I’m sure you’ve heard somebody mention meditation at some point recently so I figured I’d shine some light on the topic. This ancient practice, once reserved for monks & hippies, is making a huge comeback in the modern day world… and for a great reason!
I think one of the main reasons people regard meditation with a lot of hocus-pocus nonsense is because it promises so many things! For instance it is proven to reduce stress, improve concentration, increase happiness, slow aging, benefits cardiovascular & immune systems, make you more self aware, the list goes on and on. But here’s the thing: it really delivers all of these results by changing your brain and thinking patterns. Practicing meditation has now been condoned by doctors, athletes, actors, scholars and individuals all around the world.
Another myth about meditation is that it’s hard to do. Meditation is actually very simple, you just be. The idea is to slow your thoughts and become in touch with your body, usually through the act of breathing. If you breathe, this should be simple.
So do you want to be happier? Healthier? Less stressed?
Let’s give it a try!
- Pick Your Time.
You’ll want to pick a time you won’t be interrupted, so maybe first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, before bed. What you don’t want is to have friends, family, coworkers breaking your focus so any time you are alone works! Take a look at your schedule and try to keep to this time every day.
- Pick Your Space.
The key to finding a good meditation space is picking somewhere quiet and peaceful. You may find that you prefer a cozy spot with lots of pillows in your bedroom or maybe somewhere outside. It’s all about finding a spot you are most comfortable. Once again it’s best to pick a place with no background noise which can be distracting and make the practice much more difficult. Avoid places with lots of people, cars, television, ect.
- Loosen Up.
Make sure you yourself are comfortable. Meditation can be done sitting upright or laying down so pick your position. Remove any belts, jewelry, heels, anything that may cause discomfort. If possible change into comfortable clothes that don’t push into jeans (looking at you blue jeans). When sitting keep your posture straight, head up, back straight, feet on the floor, place your hands in your lap or on your knees.
- Breathe Deeply.
Either defocus or close your eyes (I prefer to close mine). Take a few deep audible breaths thinking about nothing but your breathing. Feel your breath go in and out, hear your breath, focus on how your breath feels when it enters you. Is there any part where your breath catches? Where does it stop? The point is to really feel each individual breathing sensation.
- Check in.
Now feel your body. Feel any areas you are touching the chair (or floor, bed, ect). Feel for any sensations you may be experiencing. Feel where your feet touch the ground, and the weight of your arms. Acknowledge your senses, any smells, hear, taste, cold or warmth. The point is to focus on how you’re feeling not what you’re thinking.
- Scan Your Body.
Turn your attention inward feeling any areas of your body in tension or stress. I prefer to start at the top of the head and with each breath slowly go all the way to the tips of your toes. Don’t worry about fixing the tension, simply acknowledge that is there. Now do the same with your thoughts, taking note of any thought that interrupt your state, once again without changing, altering, or diving deeper into them. Just notice, and acknowledge, then return your focus back to breathing.
- Free Your Mind.
Allow your mind 20-30 seconds of freedom. Let whatever happens happen and enjoy your mind simply at peace for a few moments.
Become aware once more of the physical feelings: of the chair beneath you, where your feet make contact with the floor, your arms and your hands resting in your lap. Notice anything you can hear, smell, taste or feel. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes
It’s that simple! Some people prefer guided meditations, which are all over Youtube and range from 2 minutes to hours.
You may wish to set a timer to go off after 2, 5, or 10 minutes so that you are not constantly wondering “how long have I been at this?”. This stops your brain from wandering off on you.
It’s recommended you meditate at least 20 minutes, 2 times a day to reap full benefits but even starting at 2 minutes a day routinely you will feel less stressed. I recommend starting small if you like and working your way up. 2 Minutes, 2 times a day is very achievable!
That’s all for now my loves,