Meditation can change your life
What if you had a free lifestyle tool that gave you all the benefits of a week at a spa?
Meditation is like taking a holiday from yourself. When you are tired of being tired, running round like a headless chicken and struggling to focus on one thing at a time, meditation is the time for you, you've been craving. And lets face it a bit of time away from the kids, partner, dog, neighbours is sometimes all you need to reset yourself. Then when you get back to them you, you're less likely to snap, argue or blame them for everything.
Will it really change my life?
Yes it will and now is a good time to tell you how. If you've ever reacted to a person or a situation and immediately regretted what you've said. You spend your time half finishing tasks as you're not focusing on one thing. You are so distracted by the noise and chatter in your mind that you aren't listening to people and feel like you're not achieving anything. Do meditation often enough and you become more focused, a calmer person. You can draw a line between work and home and manage your emotions and stress better. You'll notice the difference and so will those close to you. I've not even mentioned the physical benefits, perhaps for another blog post!
I know you're already thinking your dodgy knee, hip or leg means that you can't sit on the floor and you'll feel weird chanting along with people. It's no coincidence that you can't find any pictures of normal people meditating. They're either super fit in lycra, meditating in between their hot yoga class and wheatgerm smoothie or they're in a monastery. The good news is that normal people meditate. That's me and you in case you were wondering!
So let's get rid of some of the myths.
You have to sit on the floor. You can sit on a chair (with a cushion if you like)
You don't have to chant.
You'll be rubbish at it. No-one begins meditation an expert and anyway its a very personal ongoing journey.
You need to be religious. There are lots of options, which are secular.
You'll have to float around, become a vegan and burn incense. Only if you want to!
You have to do it for hours at time. A few minutes at a time will benefit you. Build up the time gradually.
Get a habit
There are lots of different types of meditation. Do some research, find one that works for you. If you've tried it and you thought it didn't work for you, it may be because the type of meditation didn't suit you. And finding a local class can also help you to keep up you practice. You can meet like minded people, who like you, are looking for a bit of relief from everyday troubles. And let's face it you can't be distracted by the washing machine if you're not at home.
There are lots of free meditations on the internet. A couple of recommended apps are:
Insight Timer A free app with meditations covering any type and topic. Trackable usage as an incentive.
Headspace A very simple to use, popular app. Paid subscription, free trials are available and meditations are categorised and usage is trackable.
The Honest Guys Not an app but lots of recorded meditations on YouTube. I like them, but its all down to personal preference!
How do I start right now?
If you can't wait to get started try this simple breathing exercise. Start by focusing on your breath, inhaling and exhaling, just bringing your attention to your breath, not forcing it or controlling it, letting it settle into its natural rhythm. If you find your mind wandering, as it will, say to yourself 'thinking' or wandering' and then simply come back to focusing on the breath. Do this just for a few minutes, between 3-5. Do this a minimum of 2-3 times a week and you will start to notice the difference. Great, you've started meditating!
If you find it difficult to keep up your meditation practice, watch My three top tips for keeping up a meditation habit.