Meditation is one of the techniques often used for stress management.
A person who is riddled with problems often finds it hard to focus, which often leads to more problems. Meditation techniques help a person achieve a calm state of mind without having to resort to drugs or relaxation tools and implements. Every step of meditation is done in the mind.
I have been turning to meditation off and on for years. It provides ease where there is tension. It provides peace where there is stress. It provides rest where there is mental, emotional, or even physical fatigue. When I don’t meditate even for a few minutes per day, I feel it missing from my very soul.
Remember that meditation is not a one-shot deal. It is almost impossible to attain a calm state of mind in just a matter of minutes, especially if it’s your first time. It is essential that you keep on practicing meditation until you have conditioned your mind to instantaneously achieve that calm state just by thinking about it.
Interested in starting up a practice? Try these easy steps to quiet you mind.
- Minimize distractions
Find a quiet corner to start your meditation. Distraction is a hindrance to those who are still starting out with meditation. When you close your eyes, your sense of hearing will be twice as good, so almost any noise in your surroundings will make it hard for you to concentrate. For beginners, it is important to start out in a quiet place in your home where noise is non-existent. Close your windows and lock your door. If possible, you can tell everyone in your home to minimize their noise so that you won’t get distracted.
- Get comfortable
It is advisable for beginners to avoid lying down when practicing meditation. The aim here is not to sleep, and it is likely that you will fall asleep if your mind reaches a relaxed state. To stop this from happening, you can start your meditation in a lotus position or you can find a chair you can sit on. Make sure that your back is straight and your hands are relaxed on the armrest or on your lap.
Begin your meditation with proper breathing. A good way to start meditation is to do the proper breathing exercise. You inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This way, you can come up with a rhythm that you can easily focus on. Also, the amount of oxygen in your body will help to keep you relaxed. Keep practicing your breathing until you can do it easily without having to think about it.
- Acknowledge and release the thoughts that come up
While you are concentrating on your breathing, you will achieve a state wherein your mind will start throwing images at you. These are mostly random- events of the day, future plans, problems and worries, fears, and so on. It will be hard to ignore these thoughts and you are not supposed to ignore them. The gist here is to acknowledge these thoughts when they enter your mind and then release them. This might sound hard but here is a simple example to understand the concept. You know that you have furniture at home- you can see it clearly with your eyes, but you are not really concentrating on it. Focusing on the furniture will usually make you think of its color, its material, how it looks in that part of your home, and more. You need to be able to look at these random thoughts in a detached state, seeing them clearly in your head but not focusing your attention on them. There will come a time when these random thoughts will stop and you will notice that you are already in a blank space in your mind. This is the state you want to achieve during meditation. This is the place where you can think about your problems and focus on them till you can find a solution for them.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as I was starting up my practice was to not be critical of myself. Stay away from self-judgment. Focus on the breath and ease that comes from taking a few minutes out to take a break and relax.
I work with my clients on their meditation regularly, so if you have questions or wish to join one of my meditation circles, let me know. I’d love to include you in our powerful sessions!