If you’re new to mindful wellbeing, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of meditation. You may have some misconceptions about it. In this blog, I wanted to show that meditation is for anyone. Like all good habits, it can take a little up-front investment but once it becomes part of your daily routine, you’ll have a way to escape the hectic everyday life.
What is meditation?
With the increase in guided meditations available, it’s easy to think of meditation as an activity. However, it is not something you ‘do’ but an effect you receive from what you do. Sit peacefully and wait for meditation. The sensation of a blissful calmness is what you’re hoping for. There’s no way to create this feeling, in fact the more you try to ‘chase after’ meditation, the less likely it will come to you.
Where? The great thing about meditation is that you don’t need to be in a particular place or have any special equipment. The main thing is that you feel comfortable and will not be interrupted.
When? Start with 5 minutes for your first session and increase to 10, 20… as you become more accustomed to the practice. I would suggest setting a specific time to meditate each day such as making it part of your morning routine, a wind-down after work or to relax into sleep. This makes it easier to establish the daily habit.
How? Meditation can be done seated, lying down or even walking. Sit comfortably, there’s no need to fold yourself into the lotus position if that’s difficult for you. If lying down, have your legs uncrossed and arms either by your side or your hands on your tummy if you want to feel your breathing. A walking meditation can be a form of mindful movement where you mindfully notice each step. Choose a straight line to walk across a room, ensuring there’s nothing you’ll trip over or bump into.
Meditation is often done with the eyes closed. However, it’s also acceptable to have your eyes open. Just have a soft gaze in front of you. Having you eyes open is a good idea if you’re tired but aren’t ready to go to sleep. Furthermore, if you feel overwhelmed by any emotions that come up during the meditation, opening your eyes can prevent you from getting drawn into an emotion too much by re-connecting you to the outside world.
Let go of any thoughts in your mind. Use your breathing as an anchor if you become distracted. When you notice your mind wandering, well done for not falling down a rabbit hole, now bring your attention back to your breath. The brain will keep thinking, that’s what it does.