“Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
There are more and more things in our daily lives that stress us out and negatively influence our thoughts. With work, family, and money, we find it harder and harder to take a step back from our lives and start feeling increasingly stressed and anxious. This is where meditation can help.
Regularly practising meditation allows us to improve our deep breathing, manage stress, recentre ourselves, and let go. 74% of adults in the UK have felt ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope‘ at some point in the past year. There’s never been a better time to practise meditation and relax.
But first, you’ll need to learn more about the meditation practice itself, the benefits of meditation, and how to meditate.
So what is meditation?
When you think of meditation, you might think of people sitting in a cross-legged position in complete silence. While you can meditate this way, meditation actually involves using a technique and focusing on certain things in order to make yourself calm, control your emotions, and free your mind of distraction.
You’d be surprised at the benefits of meditation. In fact, once you learn to meditate, you’ll get into the habit of sleeping better, gaining a deeper understanding and awareness of the world around you, control negative emotions and feelings such as anger and tension, and enjoy better harmony between your mind, body, and spirit.
In this article, we’re going to look at a variety of different ways to meditate.
If you’ve decided to do daily meditation, this means that you’re aware of the potential benefits, would like to work on it, and manage depression or improve your mindfulness. All this can be done by concentrating for 5 minutes when you wake up or before you go to bed.
Meditation isn’t as complicate as you think. (Source: obpia30)
Why not take some time for yourself by waking up peacefully or going to bed feeling relaxed?
Lie or sit down and focus on a single thought without letting other thoughts distract you. If you can’t manage this, don’t worry. You just have to go back to that initial thought and focus on it again.
This can help you over the course of five minutes to become aware of small everyday moments. Simple and effective relaxation techniques can make you feel happier, help you to breathe, and give you a better understanding of your own body.
Guided meditation occurs when you listen to your body, mind, your thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. Happiness comes from harmony between your mind, body, and spirit.
For example, if you do sport early in the morning, think about whether you feel happier having done the exercise or deciding to stay in bed for another two hours instead. Meditation is about being the moment and enjoying every single moment of inner peace.
The simple act of focusing on your body is hugely beneficial to your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.
While you may think yoga is a solitary and self-centred pursuit, you also need to be aware of the world around you. Imagine that you’re alone in your room and there isn’t a single noise in the whole house. Proper meditation requires you to be aware of what’s happening in the street as well.
In just a few days, you’ll realise that you can practise yoga anywhere. (Source: leninscape)
Doing this every day allows you to be mindful of what’s happening in the present moment by listening to the sounds of the birds, cars, and the lives going on around you. By working on your concentration, you’ll start seeing results.
Don’t forget to also work on your alignment!
Whether you think about it or not, we tend to eat several times a day. This is why eating is actually an important part of mindfulness for both beginners and experts.
Being aware of what you’re eating while you’re eating it is an important part of meditating. (Source: RitaE)
What’s better than eating and meditating?
You need to be aware of what you eat and what you’re putting into your body. The taste of green beans, the sourness of a lemon, the water in a melon, there are plenty of sensations to be aware of when you eat mindfully. You can hone your concentration and discover more about mindfulness meditation.
Check out these essential yoga asanas!
There are easier exercises than this to do when you’re meditating. However, this is something you can do at any point throughout the day. You need to work on your concentration and be mindful of the present. Imagine an imaginary finger pressing into a certain part of your body.
Imagine the finger moving from your nose to your shoulder blades, around your feet, all while applying a small amount of pressure. The goal is to feel this finger despite it not existing. This can be tricky to do but meditation can allow you to achieve this.
Put simply, you’re becoming more aware of every part of your body, even parts that you probably don’t even think about.
Just thinking about what we’re feeling at any given moment is a meditative act in itself. A smell, a touch, the inside of your pocket, a taste, even if you’re not eating anything.
What am I feeling at this exact moment?
This is what meditation is all about: knowing what you’re thinking and feeling at any given moment and who we are at that time. We need to be aware of what’s going on in the present.
If there’s one thing that meditation allows, it’s thinking. Working on your concentration also allows your mind to wander and follow a stream of consciousness and think about many things.
Being aware of your environment is meditation in itself, an action that allows us to relax. Just like Buddhist monks!
Along with eating, sleeping is one of the most everyday things you can do. Sleeping can also be a meditative act because our mind needs rest to process and digest all the information we’ve taken on board throughout the day.
Sleep is an important part of meditation if you do it right. (Source: Free-Photos)
This task allows us to focus on a single idea, even if we do so subconsciously. This is almost like Zen meditation but we won’t benefit from it directly because we’re asleep!
Both when you go to bed and when you wake up, you can also use some of the other meditation techniques we mentioned earlier, too.
Of all the things we do almost every day, writing is another thing we can do as part of our meditation.
Who doesn’t write something almost every day?
We’re not talking about writing a novel or a memoir but rather writing something down to work on our concentration.
A shopping list could be an easy way to focus your attention. Focus on what you have to buy, what you want to buy, and forget about everything else. That’s what meditation is all about: the here and now, making the most of each moment, and enjoying the benefits.
Finally, the last tip for meditating is arguably the simplest thing you can do, focus on what you’re doing. We’ve been talking a lot of about concentration and focus. You can focus at any given moment of the day and concentrate on what you’re currently doing.
At work, think about the sensations you’re feeling as you’re typing away at your keyboard. When you make yourself a cup of coffee, think about the warm feeling emanating from the cup into your fingers. You can do this with any humdrum daily activity that you do. Meditation isn’t that complicated, after all.
Thanks to these ten tips, you can meditate every day, regardless of your experience meditating, and start living in the here and now. Get ready for mindfulness meditation!
If you need help with mindfulness exercises or mindfulness-based stress reduction, you should consider getting mindfulness training from a tutor or instructor on Superprof. You can search for both online tutors and face-to-face tutors.
Online tutors provide instruction over webcam using programmes like Skype. With fewer expenses, they tend to be cheaper than other tutors. However, a one-on-one tutor tends to provide more effective instruction for physical disciplines like meditation and yoga, for example.
If you’re on a budget, you can always get a few friends together to split the cost of private tutorials!