In our ever evolving society many of us are constantly enduring an overload of work. From our professional careers to our personal lives, we tend to put ourselves and our health on the back end of the spectrum. Yes, we may gain temporary satisfaction from signing a new client, spending lunch with a friend or by doing that extra house work task each day, but have you ever wondered if these undeniable realities could be managed with an easier and calm mind set? Can we live our lives without always feeling like we’ve drawn the shortest straw? That being said, we might have an antidote that allows you to use your vital time wisely without feeling like its depleting without your control.
Meditation is a practical tool that should spike curiosity in any individual looking for stress relief formulas to cope with their unique worlds.
Meditation doesn’t need to be carried out over many countless hours of our minds drifting in and out of states of consciousness, but rather let’s keep it short and simple and maximise the time we spend on the true fundamentals.
Follow these few simple steps and you can discover the possibilities that meditation presents in your own time.
1. The Fundamentals. Every job we carry out from the weekly grocery shop, to the refuelling of your car has its own fundamentals. Meditation is the same and without establishing a solid base to begin our journey we will not achieve the anticipated end results.
A quick understanding of meditation to begin with, is that the objective is to become aware of when your mind has drifted. Chances are you will continue to escape in thought and become distracted but the beauty is the more you practice the more you notice the nature of the mind or thought patterns and you then having the ability to bring it back to the present moment.
Meditation will help you redirect your attention back to your task or point of focus without judging yourself. What an honour it is to become aware of an interference and simply let it go without self-criticising!
You can always start with just 3-5 minutes of meditation when you start off. It isn’t about the time spent but rather the focus and awareness during that time. Start small and work your way higher when you feel at ease with it all!
2. Creating Space. So start at the beginning, what do we need and where do we need it. Of course to meditate, especially as beginners, our body needs to be comfortable in order to calm the mind. So find that warm, welcoming and quiet spot where you can open up and really fall into relaxation. The beauty of this practice is that it takes place in your mind. Whether you need soft instrumental sounds to help eliminate the chaos of our minds or the sound nature carried through the trees by a natural breeze is entirely dependent on you.
Use your breath to reconnect with where you are, letting go of what has been and what should be. Feel the inhale and the exhale as they circulate through your nostrils and in your body.
3. Positioning. To allow our bodies and our minds to drift from the constant state of thoughts and behaviour we need to be able to be consumed in our own stillness. As a beginner we will struggle as we become aware of each and every little muscle, every sound and every distraction the mind will create. For us to overcome our bodies fighting urge to adopt foreign activities we need to make the utter most comfortable positioning for us and for us alone.
Whether you are positioned on a hard flat floor or with the comfort of a soft silk cushion is entirely your decision.
As you sit there, focused on your breathing you will notice thoughts and reactive patterns that normally have travelled unnoticed. As you drift away with a distraction come back to the feeling of your breath, without the need to feel defeated. You want to find that mental place of solitude, this will ease the body, ease every muscle and allow us to fully position ourselves toward growth.
4. Practise. Meditation is more than a simple breathing exercise, rather an ancient method of teaching the mind. Countless approaches can be taken for meditation, so which approach you inhabit is entirely up to you and what method suits you best. As a beginner meditation can be incredibly difficult and no one expects you to sit for hours on end with an empty mind. Here we suggest you to focus on your breathing. Consume your mind with thoughts of breath sounds and control. As you practise and progress your mind will drift into the world of nothingness, empty and in peace. As you advance you can adopt deeper challenges. Incorporate meditation into your daily routine with methods of mindful walking and body scanning.
Mindful walking; as you are walking take the time to feel your feet walking and coming in contact with the ground. Feel your body in movement without distracting yourself with the outside world. Your breath can always help you reconnect deeper with your mindful activity.
Body scanning; scan your body from the top of your head to toes. Try and soften the bottom of your skull once you get to the area. Breath through the area you feel discomfort without spending too much time one them. Next, scan through again finding sensation of ease and comfort. Try and be aware of your body as a whole after round 2 and experience without placing judgement or a certain reaction to what is felt.
What you need to remember is that we all need to start somewhere and that we cannot be expected to a master immediately. Ensure you take your time and practise properly before jumping in head first to really achieve your desired results.
You only get out what you put in.