Wanting to get started with mediation but don’t know how? Fab! You’re in the right place. For those of you who have been a little hesitant to consider meditation, please read on and let me try to explain why this is something that could make a great difference to your daily life.
What are the benefits of meditation?
This list could be exhaustive, but I’d need a whole new website for it there’s so many! So for now, I’ll highlight the main benefits I’ve discovered on my journey through meditation.
1: It can reduce anxiety.
This is probably the main reason why people turn to meditation to help them through life’s stresses, and I can’t stress enough how beneficial it can be. If, like me, you are in the throws of menopause and have those pesky hormones playing havoc with your emotions and mental health, then meditation is something you should definitely make time for.
Meditation can provide deep relaxation and rest for the body and mind. It balances nervous system activation, hormonal levels and increases brain coherence. Read more about how this can help your stress levels here.
2: It can help you lead a healthier lifestyle.
This can happen in many ways. From reducing the chances of heart problems and lowering your blood pressure, to providing an alternative to negative stress relievers such as alcohol, nicotine or drugs.
Being mindful of how your body feels will also help you zone in to areas that need attention. It could be that niggling backache that’s been getting you down, or a chipped filling that makes it difficult to eat. Taking time out to be in tune with your body will push you to get those irritating ailments seen to that are all too easy to ignore.
3: You’ll feel happier!
With your body and mind healthier, it’s no wonder you will feel happier! Learning to love your self enough to look after yourself is an essential skill in the path to happiness. Meditation gives you that time to reflect on how you are feeling, and make necessary adjustments to improve your wellbeing.
How do I get started?
Below I’ve answered 3 of the main questions I’ve found people ask when considering taking up meditation – feel free to get in touch if you have any more!
Q: How long does it take? I don’t have much time.
A: As little as just 2 minutes a day can make a big impact. Perhaps most importantly it will start to become a habit in your daily routine. Like most things, once it’s found it’s way into your daily life, it will become as natural as brushing your teeth, having a shower etc.
Q: I have trouble staying still for too long. Will this be for me?
A: All the more reason to start meditation! People who live busy lives will often find it hard to calm their adrenaline filled mind, but it is oh-so important to love yourself enough to give yourself a break – after all, you deserve it! You can do things like lighting a candle and focusing on the flame. or listening to a guided mediation. Read about my recommendations for this here:
Q: What do I need to get started?
A: You only need one thing, and that is the will to want to better your life. You can meditate anywhere. On the floor, on the grass in your garden (a particular favourite of mine. It’s a great place to really zone in on the smells, sounds and feelings around you) on your bed – anywhere where you can relax and focus on yourself. Sure, there is lots of equipment available to help you on your meditation journey, but to start with, just the above will be suffice.
Okay, so hopefully I’ve cleared up any questions that needed answering, so how do you start?
Step 1: Find somewhere quiet where you can relax.
Make yourself comfortable and sit cross legged, lie down or sit in a chair. It doesn’t matter how you sit, you just need to be comfortable and still. Now you’re comfortable turn your palms to the sky.
Step 2: Be present in the moment.
The most wonderful moment is when all 5 senses come together. EG: If you’re mediating outside. Smell the earth, listen to the birds, feel the cold grass under you, watch that little ant meandering breath in and taste the fresh air. Just focus on what is happening in that moment in time and nothing else.
Step 3: Be at one with your breath.
Slowly breathe in, and breathe out. Focus on the timing, keeping it slow. As you breathe in, listen to the breath, focus on how it feels to breath in and out and bring your total attention to this.
Step 4: Be at one with your body.
Once you feel like the breathing exercise is mastered, now try and move on to the rest of the body. Let your arms sink heavy. Feel gravity pulling your body towards the ground. Start from your head and focus on relaxing every muscle in your body all the way down to your toes.
Now you should be in a state of calm! Now stay like this for as long as you can. Just 2 minutes a day is a good start, and you can build it up gradually. For those who get the bug for it, there’s a whole Internet full of information on mediation, and plenty of books that will help you progress even further with your practice. But for now, I hope you feel inspired to go sit down, relax and start your meditation journey to a more relaxed life.