As we continue to navigate a new version of reality in our daily lives, it remains so important to nourish and nurture our body, mind and soul.
Even in normal life many of us will experience some form of stress or anxiety at times in our lives – it’s part of the journey and our personal growth. There are, of course, many ways and means for managing this, and one that can have a profound effect on your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing is meditation!
Meditation helps to slow your internal chatter, still your mind, calm your inner world, and is a vital form of self-care. When we are stressed our brains are operating in a beta wave state. Conversely, when we are 100% rested we go into an alpha state. The beauty of meditation is that it can bring us to an alpha state more quickly than traditional relaxation techniques. There are far too many magical benefits of meditation to list them all, but here are some of the main reasons to give it a try:
- Reduces stress and anxiety, and promotes emotional health and wellbeing
- Promotes physical health and your immune system as focusing on your breath improves your oxygen intake because it opens your airways
- Can help to lower blood pressure
- Helps to aid restful sleep
- It enhances self-awareness and improves focus and attention
- Helps us to respond rather than react to things in our daily life
- Balances both sides of the brain and brings your whole body into alignment
- Helps to relieve pain and muscle tension – both chronic and acute
- It also improves your intuition, creativity, and even your productivity, through your concentration and performance
How to meditate?
There are literally hundreds of different kinds and styles of meditation, and it’s important to try a few different techniques to find what works for you.
The aim with any meditation is to focus on just one thing – be it your breath, the sounds around you, love, or a specific word like peace. Find a place where you can be still and quiet, sit comfortably, and either follow a guided meditation or sit in silence focusing on one of these things. If your mind wanders that’s perfectly ok – all you have to do is bring your attention back to the focus of your meditation. Simply observe your thoughts, allow them, and just let them pass through like clouds in the sky, and then bring your attention back to your breath, sounds, or the word that you’re meditating upon. It is recommended to start with just 5-15 minutes a day and build from there.
If you prefer to be guided there are plenty of free and paid for apps available, such as Insight Timer, Calm, or Headspace, and countless recordings available on YouTube. And if meditating alone doesn’t work for you, why not try attending group guided meditations? Many of these have moved online in the last year and are a wonderful way to feel connected with others. If you don’t enjoy sitting still to meditate, you could get outside and practice walking meditation, or just practice being mindful as you perform daily activities like cooking or washing up.
With practice, over time, meditation really can become a magical part of your daily or weekly routine. You can use it in the morning as a powerful way to set yourself up for the day; in the evening to help you relax, unwind and sleep peacefully; or at any time in the you when you want to switch off and find some peace and calm for yourself. Magic!
If you’d like to give group meditation a try from the comfort of your own home, I run a weekly evening on Zoom every Wednesday at 8pm. For more information and to book, click here.