The habits of a lifetime are the ones that improve our lives. Keeping us safe, healthy and strong.
Meditation is one of them.
With roots in Buddhism, meditation is the practice of looking inwards by focusing on the movement of the breath. The idea of meditation is to try to not think. Only to listen to the breath and do nothing. It sounds easy, but it’s not.
As we get more and more lost in the need to complete tasks, stare at our phones and care about what others think of us; it can feel impossible to take a break.
Meditation is that break.
Over time, the practice helps to reduce anxiety, stress and inject a little more happiness into your life. You can think of it like exercise, only for the mind – your most powerful muscle.
Meditation is becoming popular among thought leaders and entrepreneurs that are behind well-known brand names and businesses as a means of gaining clarity in crucial moments. It’s changing the way that businesses are run by recognising the need to take a break and encouraging a wellness practice within offices across the world. Even if its just five minutes to check-in and focus on the breath.
Taking time to do nothing allows the brain to digest and absorb information. Even if it’s for a short period of time, your thinking mind needs it to process to relax.
Here are some simple ways to get started. It’s easier than you think:
If you have never tried meditation, taking a walk outside in nature every day is a great way to start. The calm in the air, the sounds of nature, it really eases the mind. Now, stop and only do that. There you are, this is meditation.
We spend so much of our lives indoors, even more so with all that the pandemic has brought into our lives. By stepping outside, your body naturally starts to relax into the quiet of your natural environment and with it, the mind calms too.
By taking a walk outside or just spending time in your garden or on your rooftop, you can take a break from life, and the urgent need to do something. The quiet of the outdoors encourages a mind-body connection as you absorb nature’s sounds.
The idea of meditating can seem out of reach, however, if you care about wellness and take care for your body, you could be meditating already and you don’t know it. Meditation comes in many different shapes and forms.
Writing down three gratitude’s every day, taking a minute to scan your body, taking deep breaths, and doing yoga are all forms of meditation.
Start small, take it easy and work out what you enjoy most. Over time, you’ll start to see the benefits of adopting little wellness habits into your daily routine.
I first started meditation when I was recovering from a mental illness. I had no idea that it was meditation.
I went to the beach, listened to the waves and done regular body scans, taking my focus from head to toe for around 10 minutes every day.
My psychologist told me it was a mindfulness practice and gave me a work sheet. I had no idea what he was talking about or what it was. I still revisit this practice, 10 years later, even if its only for a few minutes.
As meditation and wellness practices become more and more popular, the number of apps keeps on growing – it’s an industry!
Wellness apps have many different features. There are short 1-minute introductions, courses, live classes and tailored meditations that offer guidance.
If that’s too much involvement for you, there is a simple timer that you can set for yourself too.
The benefits of using an app to start your meditation practice are endless! Best of all, it’s really up to you how much you interact with these tools, setting boundaries to focus your practice.
My favourite is Insight Timer as it has a great selection of meditations that I visit frequently. I have a reminder at 8 am every morning to tell me it’s time for meditation. This was great when I was first forming the habit.
Other highly recommended apps are Calm and Headspace, as you have no doubt seen on Netflix.
Through using an application, I’ve been able to see my progress and tap into some elements in my life that I want to heal from or focus on for some time. I revisit these elements regularly.
The effects that meditation has on your life are very subtle. You won’t see them immediately but through calming the mind and focusing on the breath regularly, you’ll start to notice your internal monologue slow down.
Meditation is the habit of training your mind. At some point, you’ll notice that you dealt with a difficult situation differently to the way you normally would. You’ll find your emotions and feelings start to make a little more sense, and take the time for the decisions come to you, rather than the other way around.
This is a powerful and beautiful tool to take on in your life. The benefits are much greater than they seem at first.
Be patient, experiment to see what suits you, and keep an open mind to establish this wonderfully positive and healthy habit.