I know some people, and include myself here, who cringe when they hear the word meditation. Hearing that word doesn’t put us at ease, instead, it creates tension. This visual image of sitting in lotus pose or at least crossed legged for a long time. Peacefully, no moving nor thinking! “No way, not for me!” – and that was it.
But you know what, that is not what meditation is about! Meditation is something beautiful and calming yet energising. And best of all, it can, in fact, be done everywhere. It does not need props and it can last anything from 1 minute to 20min to however long you may want it.
It’s easy and simple and yet so rewarding for your mind, body and soul. It will put the mind at peace and keep it calm and quiet, yet alert.
Meditation can help to
– calm the state of the mind
– bring clarity
– increase awareness
– reduce stress
But one can’t force meditation! To feel the benefit of it it needs to be effortless. And yes, that may take some practice.
What is important to remember before starting this process is that one will not be able to stop thinking. The mind is there and made to think. And the quieter we get, the more thoughts will come rushing through it.
A huge part of meditation is to learn to not follow through with the thoughts when they arise! To acknowledge them, but to let them go again. And then to come back to the base of your awareness, back to the present. Imagine thoughts like clouds in the sky on a windy day, they come and go.
It’s ok to experience tightness, frustration, at times as well anxiety. You might feel worried about doing it wrong, or of ‘not feeling or getting it’. That is all natural, don’t judge. Learn to simply acknowledge it and then let it go.
Meanwhile, you can find many ways of meditations out there. I find the breathing meditation an easy and powerful one. It’s great for beginners and it can be used anytime, anywhere. As long as you feel comfortable by practising it.
Ideally, you do this one sitting upright in a comfortable position, but the beauty with this one is that you can, in fact, do it everywhere – while waiting for your tea water to boil, waiting for the bus, being out for a walk, or before falling asleep. It provides endless possibilities to take a moment to tune in and to feel calm Give it a try!
For the breathing meditation, your base, your focus is your breath. Let your breathing come naturally, preferably through your nostrils and try not to control the breathing.
Feel the breath; become aware of how it feels when you breathe in and out through your nostrils.
Become aware of the sensation of the cooler air coming in, and the warmer air coming out.
Try to naturally breathe deeper into the belly, this will give a deeper state of calmness.
By simply bringing your awareness to your breathing you’re already are meditating!
See, it can be simple. It won’t always be easy, though! Your mind will wander off. But that is ok, just learn to realise when it starts to wander and turn your attention back to your breathing. Regular practice will help you to return to the base of breathing more easily. A sensation of calmness and clarity will come over you.
If you got curious and want to check out different types of meditation – and yes there are many and the resources are endless! – I found this page very detailed and helpful http://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation/
Also, a great tool for beginners as well as advanced is the “Insight Timer” app – free to download https://insighttimer.com
For now, this is my final part on relaxation techniques. The others were about Instant Relaxation Technique, Visualisation – Relaxation and Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
Whatever way you may choose, I hope this inspires you to tune into yourself. And to learn to be present even if just for a minute here and there!
Have a lovely day,