Meditation for Dummies

by Beaming with Health on November 10, 2015

284105_2059867409340_5484339_nWhat thoughts are triggered when I say the word “meditation”? Do you think, “Sure, I hear meditation is great, but I think it is a bit too far out for me”. Maybe you think, “Ok, I am onboard with the whole meditation thing, but it is at position 24 on my ongoing to do list”. I am here to tell you that meditation is not just for the extremely enlightened or men/women of leisure with nothing better to do. Meditation is a very simple practice that you can incorporate into your daily routine, even for 10 minutes at a time. That’s not so bad, right?

Why meditate? Well the list of health benefits are endless. A meditation practice has even shown to improve immunity (bye bye flu), lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation (which contributes to conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, asthma and more). Meditation is one of the best stress relievers around, and is extremely helpful for both anxiety and depression.

If those health benefits aren’t convincing enough, meditation is an amazing tool to help you get in touch with what you really want out of life. Have a tough decision to make? Well, I firmly believe that the best answers always reside within. The question is, how do we tap into that inner guidance? You guessed it, meditation, which allows us to quiet our minds and hear that answer. How can we possibly know what we want when we are constantly disconnected (or rather too connected to technology) or just simply distracted by obligations and life. If you can work in even a 10 minute period to sit still, it can be extremely reenergizing not to mention a wonderful time for reflection.

Am I wearing you down a little? Are you at least curious about the process? The meditation practices I like to recommend to clients are very simple. Choose one of the following ways to meditate below, brew a cup of tea in the morning, find a comfy, sacred spot, and try it out!

1. Meditation through breath:

One of the best ways to still your mind is through focusing solely on the breath. Start in a comfortable seated position (cross-legged or sitting on your feet with knees bent). Close your eyes, and just begin to watch your breath go in and out. Don’t try to force the pace, just simply watch it. Thoughts will pop into your head, just let them go by and return your focus to the breath. After a few minutes you should start to feel very relaxed.

2. Meditation with an affirmation:

Meditating with an affirmation involves repeating a comforting or motivating phrase to yourself, while continuing to listen to the breath. The affirmation can be whatever you want it to be. It could be something as simple as “everything is exactly as it should be”. This is a good one if you worry that you are not in the right place in life or are anxious about something. You could also have more of a goal-oriented affirmation. Say you are working on your health, you could say “I am healthy, strong, and energetic”. Again, even 10 minutes a day of this exercise is powerful. Many people use a mantra, but if you are a beginner, don’t worry about this yet.

3. Meditation with music:

Are you a music lover? Maybe this method is for you. Again simply sit still in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Play your favorite calming music, perhaps something with a message that resonates with you. Try to disassociate from your thoughts and immerse yourself in the music. Just be completely in the present moment, while listening and absorbing the music. If you are into chanting, maybe sing along with a favorite chanting cd.

Basically, there is no wrong way to meditate. It is just about getting to a place where you can start to disconnect from your thoughts, judgements, and worries and instead be completely present in the moment. Have you tried meditation? What type do you enjoy?

Check out my beautiful friends, Holly and Revital meditating in Costa Rica (pic above).

 

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