Meditation is essential to combating the stresses of modern life, especially for anyone working the 9 to 5 (or 7 to 11, for that matter). It helps us slow down, become more appreciative, learn how to stop negative thought patterns, and feel more happy, focused, and balanced in life. Once you learn how to meditate, it is the simplest yet most rewarding activity in the world, but getting there… well, I’m not going to say that it’s easy. You first have to learn how to meditate and get over the learning curve to fully reap its benefits. That’s why I’m going to share 5 simple tips for meditation with you.
- Stop what you’re doing and start right now.
Meditation can be one of the most beneficial practices in the world for everyone from high-powered executives to athletes to even those battling through depression. Everyone can stand to calm their mind, learn to cool their emotions, and take a more appreciative attitude towards life. And you only have to dedicate a measly 5 minutes a day to doing it. Everyone has 5 minutes to spare.
- Go to a quiet place where you can be alone.
Close the door, dim the lights, and try to quiet all background noises if possible—though soon enough you will be able to do so just using your mind. At first, you will want to remove as many distractions as possible in order to travel inwards. This practice is all about you. The more you commit to making time for yourself and learning about yourself, the better you will be able to engage with others and with your surroundings. Once you learn that it all starts with you, it will be easier for you to ignore the things that are going on outside of your mind.
It all starts with the breath work. In order to calm the mind and eradicate the distractions, it’s easy to start by giving all of our attention to our breath—something that usually takes place without us even noticing. Let any other thoughts that may come to your mind pass by as you give your breath your full attention. Its soothing, calming pattern will relax you and help you zone out.
The best way to start meditative breathing is to start by inhaling through the nose and exhaling back out through the mouth. This is the same type of breathing used in many traditional yoga practices. It is easy and helps you learn how to get a great deal of oxygen into your lungs and also how to hold and control your breath. When you get more oxygen into your lungs, your brain and your body function more efficiently. Want to swim better, bike faster, climb Mount Everest, improve your efficiency at work, control your unruly temper? Start by learning to control your breath.
- Be grateful.
So many people in our modern society are unhappy. The reason why they are unhappy is not because their lives are that bad. The reason they are unhappy is because they are not appreciative of what they do have. Instead of recognizing the good in their lives, they dwell on the bad. Having a good life you are truly happy living is all about shifting your perspective. Don’t change your surroundings, change how you react to them and perceive them. Again, it all starts with you. Meditation is a wonderful time to reflect on and give thanks for all that you have.
- Practice makes perfect.
Start off by committing to meditate for at least 5 minutes a day. After consistently committing to meditate, you will come to enjoy it instead of dreading it. Your mind will crave the silence instead of attempting to fill the empty gaps with unnecessary chatter or worries. The longer you practice for 5 minutes a day, the easier it will be to scale that duration up to 7 minutes, then 10, and before you know it you will be meditating for a relaxing, undisturbed 30 minutes a day. Think about it like turning your brain off. Sometimes the brain just needs a rest so that it can operate more efficiently during the time that it is “on.” Many yogis and Buddhists live longer and survive on less sleep than the average American. They also spend most of their time meditating. Coincidence? I think not. There is something so restorative and cleansing about meditation that we as humans truly need, yet are usually not reminded of in the world we live in. Give your brain a break and meditate. You deserve it.
Until next time,
Share this Post