The word ‘Meditation’ no doubt conjures up images of people sitting crossed legged, repeating the ‘oommmm’ mantra while incense is burning. There are many forms of meditation, some more challenging than others.
It is a very useful tool in reducing stress, promoting physical and mental wellness, it can help you sleep better and generally make you feel happier.
No matter how you choose to meditate there are some keys things to remember.
Stilling the Mind
One of the main keys to meditation is stilling the mind, not thinking about anything! It can be extremely difficult for some – we are so busy in today’s modern world, that even when we are supposedly relaxing over a coffee or meal we are often thinking about things to be done, up and coming events and juggling life in general! When first starting out, don’t beat yourself up about your mind running wild. In time you can learn to push the thoughts away, simply tell yourself the thoughts are not welcome at this time and you can deal with them later.
Should be natural and not forced. Focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Sometimes counting your breath in and out can keep you in the present moment and help you relax. Silently count ‘one, two, three, four’ while exhaling and inhaling.
We often think that with meditation we should have no focus so we can switch off from everything around us. However it is helpful to have what is called a ‘soft’ focus to keep your mind from wandering. Focusing on your breath can be a useful tool.
Position, Place and Time
Sitting is best and not necessarily cross legged on the floor. A comfortable chair may suit some. Just ensure your back is straight. Slumping over will allow your mind to wander. You can meditate anywhere as long as you feel safe and settled and there are not too many distractions nearby. Somewhere quiet is ideal as you can find it calming sitting in silence. Start out with 10 minutes. Don’t force yourself to go longer. Increase the time as you start to feel that 10 minutes is too short.