Mindful May - Part 3
Meditation is a very popular tool to calm and focus the mind. Meditation can help you cope with everyday life, reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a type of mind–body or relaxation therapy. During meditation, you concentrate your mind on one particular thing, such as your breathing, sounds, body movements and feelings.
This helps train your mind to stay focused and peaceful during times of stress or anxiousness.
Meditation has both physical and mental health benefits. It can help you manage the symptoms of many health conditions including depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and sleep problems. It can also have benefits for your mental health including helping to manage stress, increase self awareness and to focus on the present moment.
Even though many different meditation techniques exist, the general ideas are very similar. Here are some tips on how to meditate.
Choose a Convenient Time
Meditation is relaxation time so it should be done at your convenience. So choose a time when you know you are not likely to be disturbed and will be free to relax and enjoy. The hours of sunrise and sunset, while nature transitions between day and night is also an ideal time for meditation.
Choose A Quiet Place
Just like a convenient time, choose a space where you not going to be disturbed. This may be inside in your bedroom or outdoors in the sunshine. Quiet and peaceful surroundings will make the meditation experience more enjoyable and relaxing.
Posture is important
Your posture will make a real difference so make sure you are relaxed, comfortable and steady. Sit with your spine straight; keep your shoulders and neck relaxed and your eyes closed through the process.
Keep a relatively empty stomach
A good time to meditate is before having a meal. After food, your body may be too full or you might doze off while meditating! However, do not force yourself to meditate when you are hungry as you will find it hard because of hunger cramps or you will be thinking about food the whole time!
A few warm-up stretches before sitting to meditate will help improve circulation, remove restlessness and make your body feel lighter and you will therefore be able to sit still for a longer period time.
Deep Breaths and Smile
Take a few deep breaths to start, as this will prepare your mind and body for easy meditation. This will help to steady the rhythm of the breath and will lead your mind to a peaceful state. Keep a gentle smile on your face and you will see the difference. A smile throughout the process will keep you relaxed, peaceful and will boost your meditation experience.
Open Your Eyes Slowly & Gently
As you come close to the end of the meditation, do not hurry to open your eyes and start moving around. Open your eyes gradually and take the time to become aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Meditation works best when it is done regularly, so keep practising until you find a technique that suits you so that it becomes part of your routine. Try starting with one to two minutes each day then increasing the time gradually over weeks or months. It takes patience and practice.
If you need any additional help, try doing a meditation course, attend a weekly meditation class or use a meditation or mental health app.