Article - Give meditation a go

Give meditation a go

There are lots of different ways to meditate, with techniques refined in different countries over the centuries. But it doesn’t have to be complex to add the practice to your daily life and find ways to meditate for everyday wellness.

There are lots of potential wellness benefits associated with meditation, such as improved self awareness, a boost in mood and alertness, and lower stress levels. A study in the US last year even found that those who meditated were able to better preserve grey matter in their brain as they aged. And according to another US study in 2014, “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day.”

We’ve compiled a few tips to help people get started with meditation. If you have any more, do leave a comment and share them with our readers.

Make sure you’re comfortable

Choose a sitting or lying position that won’t make you tired, and ensure you’re well hydrated. We’re often told we need to sit in the Lotus position, which we commonly see as an illustration of meditation, but that’s not necessary. However, you’ll want to think about posture that allows you to keep your spine straight and to relax your shoulders and neck.

Fit meditation into your routine and your home

Choose a quiet place in your home or outdoors to meditate. This should be a place with a comfortable temperature and where you won’t be disturbed by other family members. It also helps to choose a time of day that suits best, perhaps in the early morning or later at night before bed. As well, you can add moments of focusing on the present throughout your day.

Relax

Activities like stretching and yoga can be good complements to meditation, to help you be relaxed and present in the moment. Things like calming pictures, candles, or music may help, or even ambient background noise. Others prefer to meditate in silence. Breathing exercises can also help us relax before we begin to meditate – you might find your mind wanders to more stressful matters if you’ve had a busy day, but gradually those competing thoughts should begin to subside.

Here are a couple of resources to reference to incorporate breathing into your meditation practice:

http://www.meditationoasis.com/how-to-meditate/simple-meditations/breathing-meditations/

http://www.how-to-meditate.org/breathing-meditations.htm/

Involve friends and family

Doing meditation with someone you know, like a friend, a family member or a neighbor, can be a helpful way to start out, so that you can learn together with shared books or online resources. And that person can help you stick with the practice if you find it’s hard to fit it into your busy schedule.



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