Meditation comes in different forms, and it takes time and patience to get into the groove. Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not simply about emptying your mind, but finding a sense of calm and peace within your thoughts. It’s a practice and an art form that allows you to live consciously and peacefully in the present moment. Meditation is about practicing mindfulness while focusing on a single stimulus – like your breath or words of affirmation. You can also center yourself through hobbies or everyday activities that require you to focus and connect with your body. Meditation doesn’t have to involve sitting cross-legged on the floor and emulating Buddha or the Dalai Lama. It’s about finding something that connects you to your body and calms your mind. I wrote this blog, Meditation For Beginners: 4 Simple Techniques, to help get you started.
4 Simple Meditation Techniques
1. Meditate in the Shower
Start off small and “wash away” the stress from your body and mind. Close your eyes under the running water and give yourself a minute to clear your head. Feel the pressure of the water running through your hair and down your body. Enjoy the warmth and slowly let go of your worries for a minute. Slowly open your eyes and focus on cleansing every part of your body while stimulating your senses. Look at the patterns water makes on your skin, smell the scent of your shampoos and soaps, smooth away any tension, and listen to the sound of your shower. Remain there for a while and enjoy the moment before stepping out into your day or night.
2. Meditate in Nature
Go out for a hike! We’re constantly stimulated by endless movies and streaming shows, social media, and political and economic stressors. Put that all away – stash your phone in your pocket or bag and connect with Mother Nature. Feel the breath in your body as you walk on uneven ground. Look up at the skies and trees and listen to the sounds of the birds and other animals around you. Be aware of your senses and surroundings, and once your physical awareness is enhanced, turn your attention inward. Is something keeping you from committing to the present moment? Identify your feelings. Pay attention to your thoughts and any emotions you experience – greet them as your friend and let them fade away.
3. Meditate with Your Hands
Do you enjoy cooking? Painting? Working with your hands in any way? Then I suggest practicing mindfulness while engaging in the activity of your choice. Choose something that requires your focus and enables you to relax. Shut everything down and withdraw into yourself and your hobby for a period of time. Don’t worry about your skill level – it’s about physically creating something with your hands and connecting with your mind and body without any outside distractions. Being able to start something and finish it is powerful. Aside from the act of creation, having the physical reward helps you connect with yourself and feel settled.
4. Meditate the Old-Fashioned Way
Find a comfortable and quiet place. Since you’re just beginning, set a timer for ten minutes. Your seating position doesn’t matter, just make sure you’re in a stable position. Follow your breath as it goes in and out. You’ll start to notice a rhythm after a few breaths. Your mind will also inevitably wander to other places – memories, tasks, stressors, etc. This happens often! Don’t judge yourself. Simply return your attention to your breath. When you’re ready, wiggle your fingers and toes while slowly opening your eyes. Notice your thoughts and emotions as you take a moment and observe the world around you.
Meditation is important for your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. It gives you a sense of peace and balance, allowing you to manage stressors in a healthy way. It’s also fully customizable because meditation is simply the act of practicing mindfulness and living peacefully in the present moment. Remember to be patient with yourself as you start out.
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