Meditation is a fairly simple exercise and yet it is so powerful. There’s probably some misconceptions about what meditation is, like it’s used to clear your mind or stop your thoughts. But you can never stop your thoughts and as for clearing your mind, maybe. For me, meditation is really about acknowledging your thoughts and helping you to become more present.
By being more present, you become a lot more conscious of your actions and your thoughts without really thinking about them. For example, I tend to get quite anxious in large crowds, particularly in confined spaces or indoor environments. I still get a certain level of anxiety, but with the help of meditation, I sub-consciously assess my anxiety, realize that it’s not useful and let those feelings go. It’s the same with thoughts. If I’m feeding my daughter, but I’m thinking about what happened at work that day, I sub-consciously realize that I’m not in the moment of feeding Chloe. I acknowledge those thoughts, let them go and appreciate the moment I’m spending with my daughter.
Another major benefit of meditation, is it gives you permission to take some time out for yourself. Having 10 minutes where you don’t have to do anything, think about anything or interact with anything is hugely underrated. Even just a minute or two is beneficial.
I recommend that everyone try’s meditation at least once. Try this simple exercise. Sit on a chair or on the floor and take three deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. On the 3rd breathe out, gently close your eyes. Focus on your breathe and count each breathe until you get to ten. If your mind wanders, gently pull it back and continue counting your breathe. When you get to ten, gently open your eyes. Before getting up, take a moment to think about how you feel.
If you want to get into meditation a lot more, there is a ton of resources available online. I’m currently using the Headspace app, but 10% Happier, Insight Timer and Calm are excellent apps as well. There’s also some great guided meditations available on youtube. I’d suggest giving several things a try and see which one works best for you.
Let me know how you go and what the benefits are for you.