Finding the calm in the storm

meditation
Image taken from article by Nirmaljit Kaur, found here: here

 

It goes without saying in this day and age that everyone is busy, people are always struggling to find even a few minutes for themselves!

So if someone told you that you need to find an hour to sit still and empty your mind you’d probably send them packing! And how exactly are you supposed to empty your mind with everything you have going on?

But this emptying of the mind is important, meditation has so many health and wellbeing benefits. For a start it helps you deal with stress and negative emotions and multiple studies have shown that meditation can help reduce levels of anxiety and depression.

Where do you start though, when the thought of having to empty your mind for a whole hour is pretty intimidating? We’ve put together a few top tips to get you started:

  • Choose a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for ten minutes or longer.
  • Set an alarm for ten minutes, just make sure the alarm isn’t too loud when it goes off – you don’t want a rude awakening in ten minutes time!
  • Sit down – try sitting with your legs crossed and your hands in your lap. If the floor feels a little hard, use a cushion or two and get comfy.
  • It is important to maintain the natural curve of your back, so slouching is a no no!
  • Close your eyes and start by taking a few slow deep breaths – inhale through your nose and out through your mouth. Don’t force anything, just let it come naturally.
  • Straight away you will begin to feel more relaxed simply from this deep breathing. Become aware of each breath and how it enters and fills your lungs and then how it leaves when you exhale.
  • If your mind starts to wonder towards your to do list, bring it back and start focusing again on your breath. This can happen a lot at the beginning but it’s ok, just simply focus again on your breathing.
  • When your alarm goes off signalling the end of the meditation session open your eyes slowly and stand up and stretch yourself out.

If after a few attempts at ten minutes you find it getting easier, then try doing it a little longer and see how you find that. Just don’t punish yourself if it takes a while to get, because you will get there eventually.

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