For awhile now, I have had a major addiction to meditation. Although it took some time for me to actually find that quiet place within, I am now reaping some awesome benefits from shutting up and tuning in. The biggest one? My anxiety. There was some time where I just couldn’t shake it, so I decided to up the ante on the “me time” and quiet time. Wooooweeee! I’m sure glad I did because constant anxiety is for the frigging birds and it can f off. If you can find 5-10 minutes a day to find silence, focus and breathe then you too will love it. I can promise you that!
Ok. To start, you can meditate anywhere you find physical comfort. You can be seated in a chair, on the floor, lying down in bed or on a yoga mat or blanket, throw in some ear buds and do it on a plane or on the train. Any place you can find stillness and relaxation is the perfect place for you to meditate. I find meditation in one of three places; in bed before bed time, in savasana during yoga class, and at home in my little make shift yoga area.
These are the following things I have in my home to help set the mood:
– yoga mat (I use a very basic mat for meditation, nothing too fancy, just use what you have.)
– a yoga bolster (I sit on this to help my posture and for a more comfortable seated cross legged position.)
– a glass of water
– incense , I love the patchouli scented ones..such a hippie.
– a tea light candle; I am OBSESSED with my crystal votive holder. It’s gorgeous and peaceful. A small flame can help you find a focal point.
– a speaker (This one rules! I connect to Spotify via Bluetooth.)
– a blanket
– most importantly, SILENCE.
How to Meditate:
Meditation is truly easier said than done. It’ll take some time to develop consistency, so don’t get discouraged if you initially have a difficult time. Shutting off the brain is hard, but with practice, it’s the best gift you can ever give yourself!
To begin, find your meditation location. Be sure it is completely free of outside noise and chatter. Perhaps play some chill spa-like music to help calm the mind. Set your timer anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Be sure to set an alarm that won’t literally “alarm” you when it goes off.
Now that you are in your peaceful place, gently close your eyes and mentally scan your body. Be sure that it is relaxed and completely tense free; including your eyelids, face, fingers, and toes.
Tune into your breathing and take 5-10 deep, long breaths in and out through your nose. Try to become more relaxed and begin to clear your head of any wandering thoughts. Listen to how your breath comes and goes, how your body feels as you breathe, expands as you inhale and how your chest falls on your exhale.
Now. Let’s get a little deeper in this first meditation. Start to count to ten as you breath. Inhale, 1, exhale, 2, inhale, 3, exhale 4, etc. I say the numbers in my head to coincide with the length of my breath…ooooonnnnnneeee, twwwoooooo, etc. When you reach ten, stop and start again at one.
It is very important to remember to keep focused on the counting, it will help keep thoughts from coming and going. Stay committed to your breath. If and/or when your mind takes off and starts mentally going over a to do list or any other thoughts, stop, acknowledge that your mind has wandered and start back at one or where you left off. Continue that hunt for calmness and silence.
Keep with this pattern until your timer goes off and you have shut it off. Begin to move slowly. Get a big “good morning” stretch in by raising your arms over your head. Move your head from side to side, back and forth. Take a big breath in and smile! You just meditated!
Examine how you are feeling. Don’t beat yourself up if you found that it difficult to shut your mind off because it is difficult! Keep working on it. Do this everyday because it’s so worth it.
Benefits of meditation:
– calms and clears the mind
– leads to deeper physical relaxation
– reduces anxiety and stress
– decreases respiratory rate
– increases creativity
– can help drop bad habits like smoking
– helps induce calmness before sleep
– rebuilds gray matter in the brain…don’t believe me? Ask Harvard.
– here are 100 more ways meditation can help improve you.
This is a great book on meditation for beginner’s…simple to read and thorough.
Have a wonderful day and for crying out loud, get some quiet time for you! You deserve it, damn it!
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” – Amit Ray