To say I’m a meditation novice would be an understatement. Getting me to relax is a tall order – it’s just not in my nature. That being said, I often NEED to take a step back, take some breaths, and relax. Meditation, even short spurts, can be extremely beneficial to your health in a number of ways – from reducing stress to welcoming better sleep, there’s no doubt it’s got its pros! So where to begin? These 7 steps will take you down the easy route to relaxation. Even 5 minutes a day helps!
- Find a quiet, comfortable location where you will not be disturbed, and either lie down or sit in a comfortable position, but make sure to keep your back straight.
- Take 100 breaths. Think about absolutely nothing else except counting your breaths.
- Use an alarm clock or timer to keep track of the time. This way you don’t need to worry about how long you’ve been lying there!
- Focus on getting 10 minutes in. You can always increase the time, but 10 minutes per day is infinitely better than 70 minutes once per week.
- Concentrate on your breathing – the rhythm of your breath, the way your body feels when you inhale and exhale, and find some calm in those breaths.
- If you lose your focus, just try to recenter yourself. As difficult as it is, try not to think – a clear mind is a key and learned trait of mediation.
- Go easy on yourself – if you get distracted, re-center yourself. Don’t assume you’ve failed, and don’t give up!
If you’re like me, it’s hard to even grab 10 minutes alone with the buzz of everyday life, from work to kids to household duties. But, meditation doesn’t necessarily need to be done while sitting or lying down – you can be standing or actually be involved in a task while meditating. While doing the dishes, focus on the feeling of the warm water running over your hands, the smell of the dish soap, and the sound of the water coming out of the faucet – every little detail.
You can even meditate while at a trip to the park. Find a bench or a nice spot on the grass, close your eyes and be fully aware of your surroundings. Listen intently to the birds chirping, people chatting, dogs barking, and kids laughing and playing – think about nothing else but all the sounds around you.
If you would prefer guided meditations, look for videos on YouTube or purchase a CD off of Amazon. There are also a number of apps available for your phone that will guide you through meditations through your headphones. You can see a list of 2016’s best mediation apps here.
Do you have any other tips or tricks? Leave them in the comments below!