I’ve started meditating on a semi-regular basis, and every time I do I notice immediate benefits – I’m more relaxed, feel happier and can focus better.
People I’ve spoken to about it often ask:
“How did you learn to meditate?”
“Isn’t it really difficult?”
So, here’s a quick guide to meditation, and a few benefits of incorporating it into your daily routine!
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. This could be your bed, your shower, an unused office, or even sitting on a train during your commute (which, incidentally, is where I started!)
- Get into a comfortable position; sitting or lying down can work well. Whether you keep your eyes open or closed is a matter of personal preference.
- Decide how long you want to meditate for and set a timer so you don’t break your concentration by checking the time. Alternatively, you could follow a guided meditation on YouTube or from an app that would end after the chosen length of time.
- Start by taking a few deep breaths – in through the nose, out through the mouth. Then, return to your usual breathing pattern. Personally, I like to focus on the rise and fall of my breath. Others like to visualise a ‘happy place’, do a ‘body scan’ or think about their goals.
- If your mind starts to wander, don’t worry. This is completely normal. Instead, just acknowledge that you’ve started thinking about other things and then bring your thoughts back to your breathing. Accepting that your mind wanders is part of the meditation process, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you find that you lose focus.
- Start with short sessions (a few minutes) and gradually work your way up.
- When your time is up, don’t just jump into action. Take a moment to reflect on how you feel, then get up slowly. And don’t worry if you fall asleep – if you are calm and relaxed it is normal for your body to go into ‘rest-mode’!
Why you should meditate:
1. You’ll feel happier 😄
When you meditate, endorphins that help elevate mood are released.
2. You’ll feel less stressed 😖
Those same endorphins reduce the stress levels in the brain.
3. Meditating helps you focus 🎯
If you feel overwhelmed, taking a few minutes to reset and focus on your breathing can help you to refocus on the task at hand.
4. It can improve your sleep 😴
Meditation can aid relaxation, and consequently help you sleep. Studies have also shown that those who meditate experience greater sleep quality, and also sleep more deeply than those who don’t.
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Charlotte Robinson, Administrator