The perception of what meditation is has gotten lost over the years. When we hear the word “meditation”, we think of sitting in a quiet space, legs crossed, hands on our knees, palms facing up and having no distractions for a long period of time with nothing to do but breathe.
While this is partly true, meditation is an exercise that can be practised in many different forms. The trick is to find one that suits you best and one that you think will help you feel calm and mindful.
Understanding what meditation is and why you want to do it is your first step. It can be used for all sorts of reasons; some people use it to relax, relieve stress, improve sleep, and some people just use it to refocus if they have too much going through the mind. Understanding the true reason you want to start meditating and what personality type you have is helpful to ongoing success with it. The next step is to establish how you want to meditate.
Remember, meditation does not have to be complicated, it does not have to extend for a long period, it is just a means of bringing you back to the present moment.
What do I mean by feeling mindful? A lot of people use meditation to reduce stress; when stressed they tend not to think clearly. Being in a mindful state allows you to be in the present moment and think with a clearer mind. Taking a few minutes to just stop thinking and focus on nothing but your breathing can make a world of difference to how you act and react to people around you.
Studies have shown meditation to be useful for various aspects of our lives.
- Some people use it to start their day, they feel that they are more in control of the day ahead if they spend some time meditating.
- Meditation can be used to help you sleep at night. You might have a lot on your mind at the end of a day which can restrict you from sleeping properly. So just take a few minutes to sit and meditate to relax and reduce the thoughts.
- Using it to reset your mind through the day is extremely effective. A businessman/woman may have back-to-back meetings and be feeling overwhelmed. Meditation can reset the mind for the rest of the day ahead.
How can you find a way to meditate?
Odds are you already meditate in one way or another without knowing it. Meditation is all about slowing your heart rate down, having a clear mind and a clearing thought process.
If you are wanting to meditate, finding something that calms you down, helps your breathing and helps you clear your mind. This will be key to long term success in the field.
- Meditation can be going for a short walk around the block, getting some fresh air to clear your thoughts.
- It can be listening to music you enjoy; focusing on nothing but the music can be a form of meditation.
- It can take a more classic form where you sit for a few minutes in a quiet place and focus on your breathing.
- Meditation is not a one size fits all situation, it is best if it is something you enjoy, and you trust can help you clear and reset your mind.
Introduction to meditation.
Here is an easy way to get started with a simple form of meditation.
- Find a quiet space where you will have no noise or any distractions.
- In that space, set up a spot on a chair or on the ground against a wall where you will be comfortable.
- Set aside 5 minutes to sit down and relax, back flat against the chair or wall. Keep your chest out to keep your lungs open. Relax your head and keep facing forward.
- Find a calm tune on YouTube or on a meditation app and listen to that for the 5-minute duration.
- Focus on your breathing, go at a rate of 3-4 seconds breathing in and 3-4 seconds breathing out, focus only on your breathing.
If you find your thoughts are wandering, do not worry, this is normal. You will realise it at some point and once you do, bring your mind back to your breathing. Eventually this will get easier and easier to maintain focus.
Follow these steps and gradually as you get the hang of it and your concentration gets better, you can start extending the time, perhaps 30 seconds at a time. Aim for 30 minutes but ease into it and establish a regular routine.