How to Meditate
Do you find yourself constantly forgetting things? Feeling overwhelmed? Disconnected from yourself? Unable to fall asleep? If so, you’re not alone. Modern life is cluttered and chaotic. With chaos often comes overstimulation. While our minds can do a lot, they do need a break every once in a while. Many people find themselves struggling to juggle life's stressors. With the recent addition of the digital world, this issue has increased rapidly.
Meditation is a great exercise for the mind and is often recommended for all kinds of ailments. However, it can sound overwhelming to those who have not tried it. Meditation is the practice of increasing focus by bringing a wandering mind back to the present over and over again. The overall goal is to calm the mind.
It can take some time to get in the habit of meditating. However, there are many benefits to implementing the practice in your daily life. Studies show that meditation can help decrease depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, chronic pain, and more.
In the short term, meditation can lead to:
- Reduced stress
- Headache relief
- Positive thoughts
- Increased energy
- A clearer mind
In the long term, meditation can:
- Lengthen the attention span
- Strengthen self-awareness
- Improve memory
- Increase happiness
- Aid in dealing with pain
The great thing about meditation is that there is no one right way to do it. There are so many different methods of meditation out there. If one way isn’t working for you, just try another! Below are some general steps to get you started.
- Get comfortable. Find somewhere calm and quiet, and then get into a comfortable position. This could be standing, sitting, or laying down.
- Set a timer. This can be for any length of time you want! A good starting point may be 5 or 10 minutes.
- Close your eyes. Once your eyes are closed, take a few deep breaths to settle into your position.
- Find a point of focus. Many people choose to focus on their breath, but you can focus on whatever you want! It could be the warmth of your palms, a sound in your environment, a repeating mantra in your head, etc.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. A wandering mind is inevitable. Whether it happens after two seconds or two minutes, just gently bring it back to the point of focus.
- Be kind to yourself. Meditation is difficult! Think of it as a workout for your mind. Each time you practice, you’ll be able to keep your mind present for slightly longer.
- Ease out of it. Once the time is up, slowly open your eyes, shake out your legs, and return to the world.
You can meditate wherever and however often you want. It could be while you’re taking a bath, on a walk, or on your lunch break. Meditate in the morning to start the day feeling balanced and centered. Or, meditate at night as a release of any built-up stress from the day. All it takes is a few minutes each day to form the habit and experience all the benefits that meditation has to offer.