How I love to meditate. This is a new addition to my day but a most treasured one. Each morning before I begin writing and even before I take a shower I take a seat, or lay down and become aware of the space where thoughts once were.
I become aware of any thoughts that appear, allowing them to gently pass whilst my focus remains on the space between that is thoughtless. I notice my physical body. I surrender to the silence. I become peaceful, limitless and content. When the musical ding of my iPhone timer goes off I know my 15 minutes are up. I breathe in deeply and begin the day mindfully.
Meditation has loads of benefits; it lowers blood pressure, decreases pain, boosts mood, strengthens the immune system and after meditating regularly for eight weeks scientists have found increased grey matter in the brain. In case you’re wondering the more grey matter you have the better your memory will be. More grey matter also means you will be less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s. These are some extraordinary benefits, for me the best part is that it improves my gratitude for life, removes stress, keeps me present and helps me to be an all round happier person.
The practice of meditation is not always easy for some and even a long-practiced regular can have a meditation that is overpowered by a wandering mind, but it can be made easier. Practice truly is key with meditation; some folks practice for an hour or more at a time, but if you’re beginner I would suggest aiming for 10 minutes and remember it takes effort to become effortless at anything so be kind with yourself but also persistent.
- Start by counting from 1 – 10 to clear the thoughts from your mind, count each number as you breathe in. By ten the mind is usually thought-free and ready to begin. Sometimes thoughts will enter but allow them to pass, try not to acknowledge them.
- Listen to meditation music this will give your mind something to focus on.
- To keep yourself present in the moment become aware of the weight of your feet all the way up the body until you reach your head.
- Some folks like to meditate and chant at the same time, thus keeping themselves present and focused on their recurring vocals. You can chant in sync here with this Om Chant.
- Just before finishing a meditation say a silent gratefulness prayer, even if its only for one part of your life or day that you are thankful for e.g. the freedom to meditate and get back to your calm state.
Turn It Into A Habit
Meditation for me is a short 15 minute practice, that I try to ensure is a part of every day and you should make this a daily practice too. No one questions the importance of sleeping or eating daily to help you perform at your best; meditation is just as vital for keeping emotionally calm and prepared for the changes, the ups and downs that life throws your way. Turn meditation into a daily habit by scheduling it in, or setting an alarm in your phone to go off at a time that is good for you to meditate, it’s a great way to become centered when you get home from work. Commit to meditation everyday for two weeks and see how you’re feeling after that period; if you’re enjoying the practice after the two week challenge you will have created a positive new habit in your life.
The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still. – Anon