Do you feel a bit intimidated by the word meditation? Have you tried and got frustrated that it doesn’t seem to “work”?
You don’t need to be buddhist (or any religion for that matter) to do meditation, it can be positive for almost everyone. We know through research it does have a good physical effect, as well reported spiritual and emotional affects too.
Meditation goes back thousands of years, and is a great way to feel more connected to the world in this digital age where the world is buzzing around us. Always something to do, something to hear or see, something to worry about.
Everyone has the ability to do it, but it can take longer to learn for some than for others. That is totally normal…and it is so worth sticking with.
It took me quite a long time, wondering why on earth do people do this, and then suddenly it just clicked and now its a regular part of my week.
So here are some meditation tips that have helped me along the way (there is also a video on these in our closed Facebook group you can join here)
1. Find a calm space and time. For me that is before the boys are up or when I go to bed. It can be anywhere you don’t feel stressed. If that is a struggle in your house, create a space just for you. A little corner You deserve it.
2. Start with guided meditation. This can help you to learn how to calm each area of your body and learn to focus on one voice before learning to clear your mind totally. Some great starter apps are Headspace (paid) Insight Timer (free and my favourite) or Buddhify. Start with short guided meditations to ease your mind into it’s new habit
3. Choose a trigger: A meditation trigger is something that indicates to your mind that it’s time to meditate. By using the same trigger before each session, it will learn to relax when it hears, smells or tastes it. Many people use incense… but it could just as well be a scented candle or a cup of special tea you save for the occasion.
4. Why won’t my mind stop thinking? Firslty, stop thinking you need to get rid of all those thoughts. This just puts pressure on and leads to more thoughts! Instead imagine them floating in and then floating off again. The words in front of your eyes and disappearing.
With the way I meditate, it’s not so much that I am aiming to eliminate thoughts, more I am trying not to attach and dwell on them. It takes practice but will begin to work. The thoughts will start to slow down, until eventually you get some glorious empty time
5. Find your personal technique. Your personal ways of calming your mind will come after practice. Some techniques that might work for you are
Glitter: Imagine glitter falling as thoughts gradually settling on the ground like a snow globe. Allow them to fall for as long as they need. Seeing them but not dwelling on them until the glitter begins to end.
The suitcase: Imagine putting each thought that pops into your mind in a box or suitcase. You might wish to say “I’ll look at you later”. As your mind starts to calm, imagine shutting the box and it floating off into the distance.
Balloons: Imagine tying each thought to a balloon and letting it float off into the distance over the horizon.
6. Connect to the earth: Whilst meditating, make sure a part of your bod is connected to the ground. So for example sitting on the floor or your feet on the floor
7. Breathing: Breath into your tummy instead of your chest as you listen to your guided meditation. This will fill your body with a feeling of good energy.
8. Only do what’s comfortable. Do your meditation only as long as you feel comfortable .It’s okay to start with just a minute! Build up gradually. This is not a race. This is about you, no one needs to know how long you meditate. There is no comparison to be made. A great aim is to eventually build up to 20 minutes, but in your own time. The aim is to never dread doing meditation, or the amount of time. This is a beautiful moment for yourself and it should only take as long as you feel comfortable. There may be some days you manage longer than others and that will be just what your mind needs that day.
9. Ask a question: IS there something weighing on your mind? Take the opportunity towards the end of your session to ask a question in your mind. Big or small. While your mind is calm you might find the answer comes to you in a much clearer way. I’m often surprised how I could have been stewing over a problem all week but the answer comes during meditation
Don’t forget you can join our closed Facebook group ( join here) to see the video or ask questions with other filling their lives with hope. See you there