Do you want to feel calm and peaceful? Do you want to offset stress and the pressures of life? Meditation can help you to let go of everyday stresses and strains and to energize and revitalize your life even if you have never meditated before. Want instant relief? Start here.
Top tips to make your meditation effective
1. Start your meditation practice one step at a time. Meditation provides numerous benefits but, if you go overboard in the first instance, you may run out of steam. Slow and steady is the solution. You build strong foundations first, you learn from the ground up and slowly but surely, the daily stressors start to dissipate. You learn to let go of the difficulties of life and instead, embrace the possibilities that lie ahead. Start with a 5-minute practice. This may seem a lot when you first start practicing, but if you struggle to retain your focus, just bring your attention to your breathing. Stick with it. Meditation is a joy.
2. If you study the basic principles of meditation, it will help make your practice session more beneficial. Meditation is not about focusing without distractions, in other words, distractions will come and go, it’s more about recognition that this can occur. It’s about awareness and identifying thoughts and letting them come and go while remaining in peaceful harmony of mind, body and spirit. Even if you become fully proficient in this practice, there will be times when meditation is still difficult and that is okay. It’s important to be non-critical with yourself on those days as there will be other days when your meditation practice is effortless, just go with the flow.
3. Meditation helps you to be able to deal with the stresses of life in a more proactive way without the negative aspects infiltrating your life. This way, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed. Where there are difficult situations, it’s all too easy to respond in a negative manner. You may lose control, feel overly emotional or, becoming introverted. But stress also affects the mind and body and, there are physical dangers associated with leaving stress to run riot in your life. It helps you to reduce your normal reactions on a physiological over-arousal and in the process, works to calm your nervous system. Too much stress can make you tired and irritable and with awareness, comes the opportunity to calm the mind and let go of that irritability.
4. Meditate with variety. Sometimes sitting in the stillness of your own home can be too distracting and so, it may help to change your location. Sit outside in the sunshine, or, find a shady spot where you can embrace the outdoors and yet, still shut out everyday distractions. The beauty about meditating outside is that you gain the benefit of having fresh air in your lungs. You feel the breeze or the warmth of the sun on your skin and being outside brings a different ambiance. This can be so soothing.
Equally, use a guided meditation CD, one with relaxing music and a soothing voice that draws you into the journey. You may find these types of meditations perfect for those ‘hard to meditate’ days. There are many different types of guided meditations and it’s important to find a narrator whose voice appeals otherwise this can create its own set of irritations and distractions.
5. How about a walking meditation? This is a wonderful way to get out and about and embrace the great outdoors getting fit while you de-stress. Perfect. A walking meditation is not difficult to do although you will face a great many distractions. But that’s okay, it’s about tuning into the moment and absorbing everything around you in a conscious manner. The trick is to not let your thoughts run riot. Focus on the movement. Feel each step. Notice how the heel of the foot touches the ground first and then, the motion through the ball of the foot, the toes and then, the forward momentum.
Notice your breathing, how you move and whether you develop an easy rhythm. Consider whether there are any restrictions to your movement. This is being mindful. It’s a moving mindfulness meditation that provides you with so many benefits. Try to sustain your attention for 5 minutes where you notice the movement of your body, and then, 5 minutes on the sensation of your breath in and out. Follow this by environmental sensations, including the sun or breeze against your skin. Notice the sounds around you and then, vision. Absorb all these details.
6. Try to establish a routine, one that works best for you. A mindfulness meditation – even if only for 5 minutes works beautifully in the morning when you first wake up. It sets the seal on the day and is a positive nurturing start. Use a mindful meditation throughout the day if you have 5 or 10 minutes spare. Focus on how you feel and scan your body to determine any aches and pains. Follow this with some gentle stretching. If you practice yoga, add this into your daily schedule and you will soon start to feel good. Practice a deep meditation prior to going to bed at night and this way, you will start to wind down, relax and feel at peace with yourself. This will aid deep, restorative sleep so that you awaken feeling energized.
7. Mix it up. Your meditation practice is not set in stone. It works well if you experiment but do try to meditate every day. As you progress, you can extend the duration and work up to 30-minutes. Take a flexible approach to meditation. It works well if you develop a routine because you will look forward to those sessions and gain much from them. If you must miss a session, you will notice the difference quite quickly. Meditation is so calming, and it helps you to really contemplate what is important in life. You redefine who you are, you become centered, happier and more comfortable in your own skin. Importantly, you respond to every day stressors in a much more positive way.
So, there you have it. 7 easy ways to make your meditation practice work for you. Start slowly, build those foundations levels and make meditation an integral part of your life. Why not get started today?