Whatever has brought you to meditation; be it stress, worries, a busy mind or just curiosity, there are a few things that are useful for any beginner to know.
Meditation is a beautiful thing to incorporate into your daily life. Of course, with our busy lives, we understand that it can be so difficult sometimes to take the time to slow down and dedicate a bit of time to yourself.
Sometimes though, when we are at our most busy, that is the exact time that we need meditation the most.
Meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on our wellbeing, reducing anxiety, stress, and depression.
There’s a few misconceptions about meditation. We’ve heard them all! That meditation is too difficult; that you need to practice it for years to make it ‘work’; that it is only for gurus who live out in the forest and practice alone for years; that you’ll achieve enlightenment...
Well we’re here to dispel some of these myths and show you that meditation is immediately accessible, can be squeezed into even the tightest of timeframes, has no costs attached to it, and can bring plenty of positivity into your life 😊
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is simply the practice of mindful concentration. It is used to train the mind to achieve mental clarity and bring the body and mind to a calm and relaxed state, emotionally and physically.
There have been many studies and lots of research on the benefits of meditation. Alongside mental clarity, reducing stress and anxiety, developed concentration and an increase of positive thought are just a few of the impacts meditation can have on your daily life.
How To Meditate
You can meditate anywhere you want, at any time you want. Remember that meditation is simply the practice of focus so it requires no equipment and can really be done from anywhere. You could do a two minute meditation at your desk at work (maybe don’t tell the boss!), or whilst cooking dinner (as long as nothing is about to burn!)
You may also like to take a little bit of time to create a special space for your meditation. For example, 20 minutes before you go to bed, or shortly after you wake up.
Ideally your meditation space will be somewhere that you won’t get disturbed. Your bedroom or living room might be nice places to meditate.
Being comfortable can also be very helpful - removing the distraction of discomfort.
Sitting crossed-legged in lotus pose has become synonymous with meditation, but if this posture is not accessible or comfortable for you (as it isn’t for many of us!) there is absolutely no reason why you should sit like this.
Instead, you can find a comfortable position where the spine is upright, so as to ensure that breath flows well through the body as you meditate.
Some nice alternative positions to lotus include sitting on the floor with a small support under your sitting bones, kneeling, or even sitting straight-backed in a chair.
4 Things To Know Before You Start
The key thing to note is that meditation is a practice. In other words, it’s all about the journey, not the destination.
1. You do not need to have an empty mind
A common myth in meditation is that you have to clear your thoughts, “empty” your mind. While this may well be the desire, most of us are just like you, have families, jobs, worries and things going on that sometimes you just can't help but think about.
The truth is, meditation is about observing your thoughts. Watching them come in and watching them leave just the same. Acknowledging them but trying not to be affected by them. Noticing when your mind has wandered off in thought and then just bringing it back to your breath or whatever it is that you are focusing on.
Just know, if you find yourself thinking about work or what you’re going to have for dinner, that is normal. It's what you do when you notice that counts.
It's a great way to learn how your mind works. When you try to switch off, where does it wander to? What is occupying your head?
2. There are many different styles
There are different techniques in meditation so it is important to give it a chance and try different styles until you find one that works for you.
3. Patience and consistency are key
Practising meditation will always be a process. It takes time to truly relax into it and let your mind slowly shut down. One thing to help is to be consistent with it. If you are meditating once in a blue moon, it is unlikely you will feel the benefits from it. Try to commit a certain amount of time to meditate daily and stick to it. Over time, it will become part of your lifestyle, just like brushing your teeth.
Our main advice is to be patient, know that meditating is not p