There are so many reasons why you need to start meditating and it is hard for some people to understand why other do practice meditation. Whenever I write posts about anxiety, depression or self-care I always recommend meditation.
Meditation always has always had this reputation of sitting on the beach with your legs crossed, hands on knees and humming with your eyes closed. But this is far from what I have practiced.
So, what is meditation?
Before you can think about why you need to start meditating, you need to think about what meditation actually is. Many believe that meditation is all about shutting off your thoughts and sitting for ten minutes with a blank mind. Actually, meditation is all about learning to control your thoughts. Meditation is about training the mind in awareness and getting a healthy perspective. It is all about learning to observe your perspective without judgement and hopefully learning to get a better understanding of them.
Meditation is all about mindfulness and the ability to be present and be able to practice rest in the here and now. It is to help yourself be fully present and engaged in whatever you are doing in that moment. Meditation isn’t easy and it is a skill that needs to be learnt. It can take a lot be present and engaged for anyone but it is something that everyone needs to try.
The Pros of Meditation!
- It helps to reduce stress
- It improves concentration
- Helps increase self-awareness
- Encourages a healthy lifestyle
- Helps to control anxiety
- Promotes emotional health
- Lengthens attention span
- May help reduce memory loss
- Can help fight addictions
- Improve sleeping patterns
- Help to control pain
- Reduce anger
How to meditate!
Meditation is something that can be very hard to start. This is why I used the Headspace app on my phone to help me start practicing. The headspace app has a subscription option but the app can also be used for free. It provides you with 30 days of basic meditation. You can also access a number of other meditations such as anxiety, sleep, breathing etc. Each section tends to give you a free trial meditation.
I started off using the basics for about 3 minutes. This gradually increased and I can now spend up to 20 minutes at night meditating. It is a very simple app to use and will help you to learn to engage with your thoughts.
The how to:
- Find a quiet, relaxing spot where you can sit without any distractions for approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Sit up straight and place your hands on your knees.
- Spend the first minute with your eyes open breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, paying attention to the space around you.
- Slowly shut your eyes and go back to regular breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Now try to focus your attention. This can be by focusing on your breathing, paying attention to the body and scanning down slowly from head to toe, count your breaths until you get to 20 and start again.
- If you find that you mind starts drifting away with thoughts just bring yourself back to the techniques you are focusing on, whether the mind or the body.
- When you have finished your meditation, slowly open the eyes and take a moment to bring yourself back.
Image Credit: Heading.