Some people may say…"I can’t meditate", "It’s too hard, difficult or it takes years to master." I say…"There’s no such word as can’t, meditation is good for you!"
You don’t have to be a yogi or a monk or a deeply spiritual person to see the amazing benefits that can be gained through meditation.
It’s good for career women and stay-at-home mums. It’s good for businessmen and part-timers. For grown-ups, students and kids. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re into, anyone can benefit from meditation.
What does it mean to meditate?
Meditation is a tool we can use to quiet the mind and to look within.
Essentially it is a practice we can engage in that will facilitate calming the mind and relaxing the body.
While practicing meditation we are in a state of consciousness, meaning we are not asleep but instead completely awake and aware of our senses – sounds, smells, feeling, taste, touch. The difference is we are in a kind of trance state where we are able to zone out of our senses while tapping into our unique spirituality - our spirit zone, or our soul, otherwise know as our inner self.
What does meditation do?
Meditation actually slows down the brainwave frequencies that can help to change our outlook and ease away stress and anxiety. Definitively the process facilitates the absence of thought and brings us into the present moment.
Why is it so difficult?
There are many reasons why meditation can be difficult… Let me explain a few commonly verbalised statements - Can’t sit quietly for a period of time - Can’t switch off from distractions - No time to fit it in to a daily schedule - Too busy doing other things - Feeling too anxious right now - Feeling tired – Afraid of being still - Too fidgety a person for meditation - Can’t relax the breathing pattern. These are all unjustified excuses for not committing to a simple process that can effectively change our lives.
All these difficulties can be overcome through guidance and coaching. The actual process of meditation is simple. You just have to sit quietly, tune into your natural breathing pattern and then focus on bringing your mind and body into a calm state. It’s the latter part that is the hardest … Switching off is very hard these days for us busy bees.
If I can dissect it for you it may be easier to understand. There are two main hurdles to jump over before entering into the meditation state.
The first is to commit your self to simply meditating for ten minutes a day. The second is to find the best method that works for you that will bring your mind and body into a calm state.
How can I get started?
Decide where you are going to meditate, at home is the most obvious. Find an area in a room that feels light and uplifting. Place a chair there to sit on or cushion on the floor. Make your space sacred by placing some special items on a nice tray or plate. These could be three or four objects, such as a candle, a flower, incense, crystals, a figure or trophy. Keep it simple and uncluttered and leave the plate in your space permanently as a reminder that this area is just for meditation.
There are many different ways to meditate. I would suggest choosing a method that you can easily connect with.
For instance – You could gaze at a candle till your eyes naturally close and then focus on your natural breathing pattern while visualising the flame of the candle behind your closed eyes.
You could follow a guided meditation App.
You could focus on repeating a mantra.
You could use the synchronising
counting with the breath method.
You could use the body scan relaxation method.
Meditation is not rocket science which ever works for you will be the method to stick with. More importantly the key to being able to mediate is for you to turn up and commit to it daily. Once you have experienced a week of daily meditation by making it part of your regular routine, you will begin to feel like a whole new person.
An ideal time to meditate is in the morning. All you have to do is get up fifteen minutes earlier and do a ten-minute meditation before you start the day. You will find the benefits are enhanced when your mind is free and clear before the stresses of the day have crept in.
My personal experience and journey has been life changing, helping me to deal with grief, family pressures, studies and career changes.
I have found that it helps me start the day much more peacefully. That feeling of calm and control doesn’t just last through the morning, it carry’s me through the rest of my entire day.
I have more energy and that’s because the endorphins released by meditation aren’t just good for your emotional well being, they’re also an energy booster. Morning meditation makes me feel more awake and alert.
I have noticed that I have a better focus through the day. The twenty minutes of silence and stillness each morning allows my subconscious mind to do good work behind the scenes, which means that I go into each day with a clear focus on what my priorities should be.
The biggest change of all is the way I think about life. I now feel more capable of handling everything on my plate with a more balanced, calm approach. I experience more control over my emotions, my reactions are less reactive and I am quite prepared to go away and think things through before rushing into something I don’t really want to do.
I believe meditation has dramatically changed my mindset to better my personal growth I have learned to be more mindful, accepting and less judgemental of others and situations that arise. This has helped me to let go of negative feelings, allowing me more grace and poise in things that I do.
I feel an overall satisfaction with my life. I’m a happier person because of morning meditation. I’m truly grateful for everything I have in my life and see in the nature around me. This sense of wellbeing is intoxicating and I feel so blessed to be able to pass it on to others. Anyone can mediate if they want to, anywhere, whenever they want!
Annie runs Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga courses from her studio in East Molesey, Hampton Court, Surrey.
Annie is host to Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat in the Algarve, Portugal from 26 September - 1 October.