Now I'm no expert on meditation, I don't teach it, don't have a qualification and struggle like anything to have a consistent practice so really I'm just like you. I do know though how it makes me feel when I regularly meditate.
It's not a magic answer. If you're stressed it won't suddenly all go away if you meditate. It has however, been proven to lower blood pressure, cortisol levels and heart rate. Now that can't be half bad right?
What it will do is give you that space and time to be able to cope, to be able to take steps in the right direction to make things good again I know if I don't meditate today nothing massive will change but if I don't meditate for a week i'll feel cluttered and heavy. Meditation gives you the time to connect with the self. We all have busy lives, alot of us don't feel we have the time to introduce anything else but I promise you if you make the time every day to build a meditation practice you will feel the benefits.
If you're a beginner (and I very much am still) try the simple steps below and see how you feel:
1. Sit comfortably. For some people that's on the floor cross legged (you might want to sit on a cushion or pillow as it can become uncomfortable if you're there for some time!) For others it's on a chair with your feet on the floor. Some people like to lie down, that's ok too! There are no hard rules.
2. Close your eyes. Maybe even use an eye mask or eye pillow if you struggle to keep your eyes closed or you think you may be tempted to open them!
3. Breathe. It really is that simple. Just your natural breath. In through the nose and out through the nose. No effort, no force, just breathe.
4. Take your focus to your breath. Start to acknowledge the inhales and exhales. How your body moves with each breath. Take the attention to each part of your body and see how it responds when you breathe, If your mind wanders bring the attention back to the breath.
Before you know it 2, 3 minutes have passed. You've meditated!
Here are a few tips and tricks I wish I'd have known when I thought I was 'bad' at meditation:
Set a timer. if you really struggle with sitting still and switching off set yourself a timer. Start with 2 minutes. That's such a tiny fraction of your day. And just sit and breathe. Gradually you can start to build up the time or just let go of the timer and take whatever time you need. There is no magic time. What's right for you is ok!
It's ok to think during meditation. We all have thoughts most of the time, it's natural. That's ok! Meditation isn't meant to switch those thoughts off! It's about leaning to acknowledge those thoughts without judgement. When those thoughts arise, give them a nod and take your focus back to your breath
Meditation won't fix all your problems. I'm sorry but it won't. If you're stressed and anxious pre meditation you won't meditate and everything is fixed. What it will do it give you the tools to be able to address those situations
You don't have to sit cross legged and chant 'Om' to meditate. Pick a place! The park bench, the back of a cab, a doorway. There is no right place. Sure if you're in the middle of a busy street it might not be the time and place but there is no right or wrong place or pose
Taking a couple of minutes out to take deep breaths can be enough. Maybe you've got a super busy life. Running from one thing to another all the time. How about you just stop for 2 minutes and breathe, You don't have to sit down and close your eyes. Just take your gaze to a fixed point and soften your eyes (try gazing down slightly, softly if you're struggling) and take a few deep breaths. Bringing yourself back to the present and quietening everything for a few moments
So there you have it, a simple and quick guide to how to meditate that anyone can do. Remember it takes 28 days to form a habit, so stick at it. I set a reminder on my phone for the same time every day to remind me to meditate. It still doesn't come naturally to me and sometimes I forget so I find it easier to remind myself. I'm hoping one day that it becomes natural, that I gravitate to it naturally but I'm not there yet. And I'm ok with that, I've made peace that perfection doesn't exist and I'm good with where I am right now!
I'd love to hear if this helped you at all and whether meditation is something you practice or even why you don't practice. Please leave e a comment below or drop me an email