If you’re finding your life is getting high stress or you need to achieve some balance in your life, meditation can help. It’s an easy, free method for the ultimate destressor–and here are some tips to get you started.
The easiest way to begin meditation is starting with the simplest method: breathing. Focus on your breath; each inhale and exhale should be mindful and approached with knowledge. Deep breathing is not just a huge stress reliever, but can also lower your blood pressure and improve digestion. When breathing, try placing the tip of your tongue on the palate behind your front teeth, then inhale through the nose slowly, hold, then exhale through your mouth, using a “whoosh” sound.
You don’t have to sit in silence for an hour to achieve inner balance. Even just one minute a day can help, then continue to grow and increase the number after a few days. Add a minute or so a week, and you’ll find yourself a half hour of bliss by the end of the month.
If there is a part of your life where you do something solo, such as running or other forms of fitness, bring your practice into it for a two-in-one benefit. Even getting out on your lunch break and taking a brisk walk can clear your head in a busy day. Nix the iPod, focus on your breath, and think of nothing at all as you pound the pavement.
Consistency is the Key
Just like an regime (fitness, nutrition, even dental check-ups), consistency is the key to success. Yes, there will be days when you’re not really in the mood for a meditation practice, but those are the days that you need it the move. Have you ever not wanted to work out, then regretted it after? Chances are, you were pleased you finished it. Same goes for meditation–it will create an equilibrium and your day will become a little brighter and smoother.
If you find that it is difficult to be consistent or prioritize your practice, consider joining a group with others that will help with your practice. These can also include guided meditations, making it easier who find it difficult to sit in silence on their own.
Customize and Be Free
Understand that meditation isn’t a cut-and-dry method. Instead, it is different for everyone who experiences it. Stop thinking, stop worrying, stop planning. There should be no agenda with meditation; instead, each practice will be different. Just let the thoughts and awareness be just that, and nothing more.
Bring It Anywhere
A silent room sitting on a pillow might be ideal, but that isn’t the only place you can meditate. Even midday work breaks can benefit from a meditation. Close your office door, shut down your computer and tune out the sounds. You can even download podcasts that can guide you if you have trouble forgetting about the looming workday ahead. However, this recharge can certainly even make your work more efficient, as you take a moment to leave your frazzled day to the side for a few moments.