Meditation can save your sanity. Here's what to know and how you can use it, stat.
Meditation is a 'practice'. It's considered a learned skill by some. But the benefits are numerous: less anxiety, less stress, better memory, better sleep, and better focus.
The thing to know about meditation is that the mind will naturally wander as a starter. This is totally normal. Simply let the thought come and go without judging it, then bring your focus back to whatever type of meditation you're doing.
FOLLOW THESE 2 SIMPLE STEPS TO GET STARTED:
1. Pick a type
2. Get started
1. PICK A TYPE:
Body Scan/Progressive Relaxation
This is done lying down, usually guided, where you focus on one area of the body at a time, progressively. For each body area, just scan the sensations felt, acknowledge them, focus on relaxation of that area, then move to the next until your entire body has been scanned.
This focuses on your breath, in and out, and sometimes involves counting. It's a bit different than the breathing techniques listed on this site. In this type of meditation, you will also focus on the sensation of the breath through the nostrils, the mouth, and in the lungs and belly.
This meditation is where you focus on something specific (which can also be your breath). As thoughts float up, give them a label as to the type of category they fall under, then release them, bringing your focus back to your focal point.
This type is where you visualize something pleasant or that brings you happiness. Maybe it's a place you love to visit, maybe it's a person that brings you joy. Maybe it's the place you want your life to be at. Some will envision a point of light in their palm that brings them joy, happiness, calm, fortune, or whatever they need most at the moment.
This type is especially helpful if you have a very active mind and find it hard to focus. Just choose a phrase or mantra to repeat in your head, and pair the syllables with your breath. This makes it very easy to bring your focus back to your practice when your thoughts start to wander. Many like to find a specific affirmation for something they'd like to improve in their life.
2. MAKE IT HAPPEN:
Find a Consistent Time
This can sometimes be difficult when traveling for work. But if you're able, just fit it in when you can if you can't stay on the same type schedule you would when you're in town.
It can be counterproductive if you're trying to meditate somewhere you're not comfortable. If at all possible, try to meditate somewhere you're alone and where it's quiet. Dim the lights if you want, and either sit in a comfortable position (many sit cross-legged) or lie down. You can even use a blanket or even go for a walk to meditate if you wish! Find what works best for YOU.
Use a Timer
If you're prone to being completely unaware of time, have an upcoming appointment, or find yourself falling asleep when you first start practicing, use a timer on your phone. Doesn't matter how zen you are, if you miss your meeting, you're screwed.
Use an App
Many find it useful to start out using guided meditations. There are several really good apps that can help you start meditating, and can guide you through the visualization and how to refocus your attention when your mind starts to wander. Some will even have soothing music or chants. Check out the 'Recommended' page for our faves!
*Disclosure statement: I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be. I'm a nutritionist and certified health coach with an MS in Nutrition. Since you are not a paid, specific client of mine, be smart, man! If you have a medical condition or injury, see your doctor or physical therapist before trying any special dietary way of eating, add any supplements, or do any type of movements or workouts. None of the information on this site is intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical condition. By using this site, you agree to these terms.
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