“Why do I hear about it everywhere?”
“It looks like they are doing nothing!”
“I have too much to do to just sit there!”
I must be honest, when I first heard about meditation, my first thought was: NOPE, not for me! I simply cannot just sit there and be still! Then after a couple of years, suddenly, I wanted to get into meditation in a hardcore way, meaning, I wanted to play the part fully. I wanted to turn my room into a meditational area, to wear the baggy chic clothes, have Buddha in every corner, gongs galore, etc. Of course, I never ended up doing it to that extreme. It was not until about a year ago that I really read up on it, accepted what it was, and sort of made it my own in how I wanted to practice it.
Benefits of Meditation
One of the main reasons meditation is so popular is because it has numerous benefits. These benefits affect physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional elements of being. Some popular benefits you may have already heard about are exercises that:
encourage weight loss
improve back pain
encourage a healthy lifestyle
improve sex life
In addition, it is affordable and/or free!
Meditation also has a great impact on our mental and emotional health and well-being. Some of these benefits include:
increasing feelings of happiness
helping with decision-making
I don’t know about you all, but I wouldn’t mind improving some of those things in my life!
Now let's talk about HOW to do this or where to begin.
We can read a plethora of articles online and all kinds of books on meditation, (there are some great ones out there, by the way!), but reading those books will not mean much if we don’t apply what we learn. So, in my case, I personally just needed to stop worrying about the decorating and playing the part and put it into action.
I engage in meditation in a few different ways. Read the list below to get some ideas for yourself, and remember, meditation is not one size fits all. One way is not right for everyone, so find what works for you.
1. One of my favorites is guided meditation. This is when someone is speaking and guiding you on what to think and concentrate on. This is great for beginners.
2. Another is just putting on calming/relaxing music to and from work. If I’m anxious about something I have to do that day it helps me go in with a calmer, more open mind. Or I listen to calming music driving home from work and it helps me to settle down from a hectic day and take away all the other ‘noise.’
3. Lie on the floor in my room and just press play on my meditation Radio on Pandora. I recite in my head, “I am calm, I am still.” Saying this helps to remind me that I don’t need to be anxious in that moment. Sometimes focusing on that helps me avoid thinking of other things.
Don’t judge yourself for your mind’s wandering off. Meditation is hard and we can’t fully and completely stop our minds from thinking, (not in the beginning anyway!). So just notice your mind wandering, tell yourself it’s okay, now I will try to refocus on the task at hand.
Sit in a comfortable position with both feet on the ground. Sit up straight but not too stiff that it’s uncomfortable or painful. You can also lay down, try to make it on a flat surface.
Take deep and meaningful breaths throughout the meditation. This not only helps our minds slow down, it also helps send more oxygen to our brains.
-Think Up App
-Meditation Time App
-YouTube....type in ‘guided meditation’ or ‘relaxing sounds’ or anything related to that. Tons of options will pop up.
-Pandora stations: Calm Meditation Radio; Eastern Drum and Gong; Rhythmic Beat Meditation Radio, (one of my personal favorites), and so many more stations
**I would suggest you listen to a few different types before you purchase anything. By different types I mean, guided or just sounds... and sounds can be sounds of nature, gongs, drums, or chanting.
So, what I hope you gather from reading this is that meditation is not as scary and difficult as we make it out to be and we don’t necessarily have to do it a specific way. Just start and see where it takes you. The hardest part is getting started!
Let me know what works for you! I love hearing new ideas and of different resources used.