Most of us have heard about the benefits of meditation, but just the idea of sitting still and trying not to think of anything may seem daunting – and perhaps even a bit dull.
Well just for a moment, forget everything you think about meditation and ask yourself if you would like to feel more focused, calmer and have great mental clarity than you’ve ever had? Would you like brilliant insights and ideas to just pop into your head? Would you like to sleep better and not let stress affect you as much? These are just a few of the incredible benefits of meditation – a simple, yet powerful practice that is in fact far from dull.
There are many meditation techniques and practices, but a a good place to start is this guided meditation.
You can also simply to focus on the breath. Follow these simple steps and get ready to start to reap the rewards of a regular mediation practice.
– Find a quiet spot to sit, either cross-legged on a cushion or on a chair if your back needs extra support. It’s a great idea to have a designated spot for meditation.
– Set a timer for a specified time – I suggest you start with five minutes and slowly build your way up to 15 minutes. Having a set amount of time helps your mind to settle.
– Place your palms comfortably on your lap or on your knees and allow your eyes to blink closed.
– Take a moment to make sure your body is completely relaxed – your forehead, your jaw, your shoulders, releasing any tension you might be holding on to.\
– Just start to notice the breath moving in and out of the body – feel how your body rises on the inhale and falls on the exhale.
– Begin to notice the subtle pauses between the breaths – at the top of the inhale and at the bottom of the exhale. Try to sit in the stillness of those pauses.
– If a thought comes into your mind, just acknowledge it and allow it to drift out of your mind. It’s sometimes nice to think about ‘blowing’ the thought away on the exhale or to imagine your thoughts like clouds and see the thought drift away. Don’t get frustrated with yourself – this is a normal part of the process.
– Continue to focus on your breath and the gaps in between the breath until the timer goes off.
At the end, bring your hands together at your heart space, let the corners of your mouth curl up into a smile and open your eyes.
Well done you – you’re on your way to a calmer, more zen you.