Is the right meditation practice so easy to find? Go and meditation is a slogan to stumble upon in many places.
As with most things it´s nothing new that a solid meditation practice, basically sitting in stillness is a grounding and positive experience. In our fast world, often driven by the need to check email, social media and basically thinking we need to be available at all times to all people, it´s a hard task.
If I told you to sit and meditate or 20 minutes each day, you´re unlikely going to go ahead and get excited about it. 20 minutes! That´s a lot and I get it.
Today, I want to take the hype out of meditation and help you access your space of quiet time more easily.
Meditation is the practice of being with yourself, recognizing what is going on. First all around you, then what you notice goes on inside your mind, your body.
There is no specific goal to meditation. It is nothing where you´re required anything. It is not about achieving a calm breathing rhythm. Or feeling super relaxed afterwards each time you sit or lay down.
Just you creating a little head space. 60 000 are going around in our minds each day, most of the are subconscious thoughts. You don´t even notice you´re thinking them. They come and go.
What meditation helps you with is to feel a sense of ease and lightness in your mind and strengthen the connection to your body. Getting out of the head and into the body. This is the reason why there is a focus of tuning into your breathing.
The positive side effects of a regular meditation practice are:
- Improved sleep
- Enhanced mood
- More patience and self-confidence
- Greater self-belief
- Better health and self-compassion
While all these effects may sound hard to grasp it´s really about being less re-active to the outside worlds and instead acting from a place of ease and joy.
This doesn´t mean you shouldn´t get and be involved in your activities but the space you create during meditation helps you in real life to make more distinct choices.
What it has helped me with over the years is that I often take a moment before I make a decision or an answer is required. Taking a few deep breaths or counting to 5 helps to get clear what feels right to say or do at that moment.
I first learned meditation when I was 15. Honestly said, I´ve had my ups and downs with my it and would completely stop for a while, even years, then pick it up again.
Over the past two years, I´ve been consistently meditating and as a result I feel much better, more aware and calm in myself if I´ve meditated.
Here´s how you can start expanding your practice or begin it. You may also want to consider an app your phone such as Headspace.
The only rule to meditation is: there is no rule!
Meditation helps you being less reactive and more engaged in what you love.
You can sit in a quiet space or relax on the train to work. You can lie on your bed and meditate or join a group of people to enhance the experience. You cannot go wrong with it. What matters is that you make the time regularly.
It is better to meditate 3-4 times per week for 5 minutes than once a week for 30 minutes. Remember that small changes can make a big difference.
- Set your alarm to 3-5 minutes. That´s ALL it takes. Begin with just a few minutes.
- Find a comfy position and notice what´s around you while you breathe through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Gently close your eyes and feel your breath and your heartbeat. Slowly sense how your muscles start to relax while you keep breathing.
- Then let your breath flow in its natural rhythm. Notice your thoughts come and go. Accept all of them. Let go of needing to do anything. Just be and breathe.
- When your timer or alarm goes off, take a moment to stretch from head to toe. Open your eyes, thank yourself and smile.
It´s not even one tiny percent of your time spent sitting with yourself that will make a difference. I´ve had clients who say after a week of meditating that they feel happier, more open and less moody. Their overall well-being improves in incremental steps. Often, colleagues, friends and partners will notice a difference without really knowing why.
Just see for yourself what positive impact meditation can have on your life.
I´m curious. Do you have a meditation practice and if so, what is your routine like?And if you struggle finding the time, also let me know so I can help. Please comment below.