Taking time to sit, reflect and just breathe is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Yet in our buzzing world of emails, phones, social media, work and back-to-back commitments, mindfulness tends to make it to the bottom of the priority list.
Taking 5 minutes out of your day can seem like a pretty big deal. Especially, when you’ve got 74 unopened emails sitting in your mailbox for three days. However, when you take that time - just 5 minutes - to meditate, you are opening yourself up to a world of health benefits.
Do you ever find yourself feeling like you're on the edge of an emotional breakdown or totally uncalled for anger explosion? Don’t worry, we’ve been there. You might find a little zen is needed in your life. Meditation is an excellent way to keep your mind calm, relax your body, stay grounded and find some inner peace amidst the chaos of day-to-day life. Other benefits include:
Lower blood pressure
Improved immune system
Increase in energy levels
Decrease in tension-related pain
Increased emotional stability
Sound like something you might be interested in? Here’s how to get started…
FIND YOUR PLACE
Start by finding somewhere relaxing, noise free and where you are least likely to be disturbed. Getting out and in amongst nature is a good idea if you can. If you can’t get out of the house though, try moving to another room other than your bedroom and put some headphones on to block out any harsh noise.
The most common position for meditation is sitting on the floor cross-legged. Try sitting on a cushion if it’s uncomfortable. Comfort is very important! Raise your chin slightly, straighten your back and neck so that you are sitting nice and tall. If you’re a bit uncomfortable or have a bad back, try lying down or sitting in a chair.
Now it’s time to relax. Start by just sitting still, be aware of your surroundings and listen to the sounds around you. Start to take slow, deep breaths. Try to pay attention to how the air feels as it flows through your nose, all the way down into your stomach and back out again.
ESTABLISH A MANTRA
At this stage, you might like to try establishing a mantra. A mantra is a word, sound or phrase that can be repeated while you meditate to help you relax and stay focused. You can say them out loud or silently in your head. A few examples of common mantras might be phrases like “I see beauty all around me” or simply “I am breathing in, I am breathing out.”
Don’t stress if your mind starts to wander. Just let each thought come, notice it’s there and then let it calmly roll away. As you continue to breathe and repeat your mantra, you should begin to feel a sense of calmness. The more you meditate, the longer this calmness will last throughout your day.
What are your top tips for peaceful meditation? We'd love for you to share them with us by leaving a comment below.