So, some of you may be like me – you heard about things like meditation, but the thought of mental relaxation sounds EXHAUSTING! Seriously! Find alone time to sit and clear your mind? Who actually has time for that?! I’m not Ghandi! Well, A couple years ago, I actually went to a school to learn Trancendental Mediation, which is a whole other blog post – but, I realized that mediation is EASY! You don’t have to be some hippie or guru and EVERYONE needs meditation.
Here are 6 SIMPLE STEPS TO MEDITATION!
TIME NEEDED: 10 Min. to Start. Gradually increase in 5 Min. increments until you can Meditate for 20-30 Min/Day
THINGS NEEDED: Desire to Mediate & A Smartphone.
*Turn your smart phone on AIRPLANE MODE and set a timer. It’s important not to be jolted in your meditation, because when you are shocked out of a relaxed state – it can cause headaches. I like to use the APP “THE BIG CLOCK” because there is no annoying alert to throw me out of my mediation and the screen never dims with it on, so I don’t need to fumble with one eye half open to check the time. I sit with it on my side and every now and again I peek to check how long I’ve been mediating.
1. Pick A Soothing Mantra. Silently repeating a mantra (word or phrase) to yourself during mediation is a good way to put your attention on other than your thoughts. Use whatever phrase or word you like, “peace” and “love” are popular. The So Hum mantra is also a good one and it literally translates to “I am.” It’s nice because if it’s not native to your language it won’t trigger any additional thoughts.
2. Find a Comfortable Location. A quiet, cozy and alone spot where you will be undisturbed is important. Sit however feels most relaxing to you; in a chair, in bed, on a couch, on the floor, whatever…just as long as your back is supported, you can be surrounded by pillows or have your back against a wall. Just as long as you are not lying down, because you may fall asleep.
3. Relax. Close Your Eyes. Breathe. Take some “cleansing breaths” to start by inhaling slowly through the nose and then exhale out your mouth. After a few of those, continue to breathe at a normal relaxed pace through your nose with your lips gently closed.
4. Begin Silently Saying Your Mantra in Your Head. Silently repeat your mantra in a soft, gentle, and relaxed manner. The mantra does not need to correlate with the breath, though some people prefer to do so. Sometimes it is helpful to imagine that rather than repeating the mantra to yourself, you are actually listening to it being whispered in your ear.
5. Don’t Try To Empty Your Thoughts or Brain. Naturally, thoughts will come and go. You may feel defeated, which is why the thought of meditation seems hard…but all you need to do is let thoughts come and go as they please but keep in mind to always come back to the mantra. It’s a good way to keep your mind away from thoughts. If even for 10 seconds you don’t have a thought, it’s MUCH better than not.
6. Stop The Mantra. After about 10 minutes, try to stop repeating the mantra and continue sitting with your eyes closed.
The benefits of meditation are greatest when practiced daily. Ideally, meditation can be done first thing in the morning upon rising and then again at the end of the day, preferably prior to dinner.
Think about mediation as washing your brain. You shower at least once a day (hopefully), so why not wash your brain. We are constantly thinking, judging, evaluating. Even in sleep. Our brain needs time to chill. Hahaha, “Chill, B”. Literally.
There is no right or wrong way to do this! And…you will only get better with time! Start with 5 minutes! I make sure and schedule my mediation like a meeting, because 1-2 times of mediation a day is VITAL to your mental health!
Hope this inspires you!