Who doesn’t deal with stress at some point in their life? I’ll be the first to tell you that it sure isn’t me. Being a wife, mother, student, blogger, and so much more; I’m sure you can relate.
There are a few ways I wind down and give my body time to relax; one of which is meditation. Daily meditation has tremendously helped me both mentally and physically.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation.
“Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds or a running stream is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.
Meditating helps us to decompress after a stressful day, to let go of distractions, and to relax our mind and body. When we are able to relax our mind and body, meditation can have many healing benefits. While it may be a little bit difficult in the beginning, with practice and consistency, meditating will become second nature.
How to Meditate for Beginners
-Start Small –
It’s okay to start small. Most beginners start meditating for only 3-5 minutes. But for some, even 3 minutes can feel like a really long time. Start at your own pace. Meditation is about quieting the mind, so even if for just a very small about of time, it will benefit you.
-Find a space and time that is quiet –
It doesn’t have to be totally quiet, but find a space where you can get away from all distractions. If you like, put on some calming music in the background. Yoga/meditation music or nature sounds are also good. Diffusing essential oils can also help you to be relaxed and focused.
-Wear something comfortable –
I like to wear leggings, loose yoga pants, or even my pajama bottoms with a tank top. Whatever you choose to wear, you want to be comfortable and be able to move freely.
-Sit comfortable and close your eyes –
The most common posture for meditation, and the one that is most comfortable for me is called Siddhasana. This posture is show in the photo above. The Siddhasana improves the flexibility of your hips, knees, and ankles, and strengthens the back. You can also meditate by laying down flat on your back with your arms relaxed at your side or seated in a chair. However you feel most comfortable.
-Focus on your breathing –
When you are first starting out, don’t worry about whether or not you are breaths are long, short or even. The purpose of focusing on your breathing is to train your mind to block out distractions ( for example, a television or a dog barking). Once you have mastered this you are well on your way to establishing a good meditation practice and can move on to the next step.
-Adding in a mantra–
A mantra is simply something that you decide to focus on while you are meditating. This could be a single word or a phrase that you keep repeating to yourself out loud or in your mind. If you feel comfortable, you can add visualization. Visualization is where you imagine yourself in a pleasant place. It could be in the forest, in a quiet meadow, at the beach. it doesn’t even have to be an actual place, just as long as it is somewhere that brings you happiness and contentment.
-Focus on your entire body –
You may choose to focus on your body and how you feel. It could be tingling or sensation in your fingers or toes. It could be your heart beating or the movement of your stomach as you are breathing. This is a very good way to end a meditation and it is very calming.
-Try to meditate every day –
It is a good idea to establish a routine when meditating. Meditating everyday, and even at the same time, can be very beneficial in the long run. One of the great things about meditation is that you can meditate pretty much anytime and anywhere. I like to meditate first thing in the morning to get me ready for the day. To help me get a restful nights sleep, I will often meditate before I go to bed.
Please feel free to share…
I would love to hear about your experiences with meditation, whether you are a total beginner or have been practicing meditation for awhile.