The basics of meditation
Finding moments of tranquillity and inner peace can seem unattainable at times. However, there is a powerful practice that can help you achieve just that: meditation. Whether you are new to the concept or have been curious about it for some time, we aim to guide you through the basics of meditation and highlight how it can be a great tool for everyday life.
At its core, meditation is a practice that involves training the mind to focus and redirect thoughts. It has been practised for thousands of years, with roots in various ancient cultures and spiritual traditions. The purpose of meditation is to cultivate mindfulness, awareness, and a sense of calmness.
The benefits of meditation
1. Stress reduction:
In today’s fast-paced world, stress is an ever-present part of life. Meditation provides a sanctuary within where you can detach from the chaos of everyday life and find solace in the present moment. By bringing your attention to the here and now, you can effectively reduce stress levels and gain mental clarity.
2. Improved emotional wellbeing:
Meditation acts as a gentle guide, helping you navigate your own inner labyrinth of emotions and experiences. Regular practice can create a sense of emotional balance and stability, allowing you to respond to challenges with a calm and composed mindset.
3. Enhanced focus and concentration:
In a world filled with distractions, maintaining focus on tasks can be challenging. Meditation trains your mind to stay centred and attentive, boosting productivity and efficiency in all areas of life.
4. Physical health benefits:
The mind-body connection is undeniable, and meditation harnesses this connection for overall wellbeing. Research indicates that regular meditation can lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and improve sleep quality.
Six steps to start your meditation journey
Starting a meditation practice may seem overwhelming, but remember that it is a journey of self-discovery and growth. We’ve put together six steps to support you to get started:
1. Create a space
Choose a quiet and peaceful environment where you can relax and focus without distractions. It could be a corner in your home or a serene outdoor spot that supports you being able to go inwards.
2. Get comfortable:
Find a comfortable position, either on a cushion or a chair. Imagine a string gently pulling you up from the crown of your head, sitting tall yet relaxed.
3. Start shorter:
Begin with shorter meditation sessions, such as 5-10 minutes, gradually increasing the duration. A tip for this that helps us, is to play a song(s) that supports the duration you’re wanting to meditate for.
4. Focus on your breath:
Close your eyes and gently bring your attention to your breath. Observe the inhalations and exhalations, allowing your breath to guide you into a state of relaxation.
5. Embrace thoughts without judgment:
As thoughts arise during your meditation practice, acknowledge them without judgement and gently bring your attention back to your breath.
6. Explore guided meditations:
Join a class or work with an instructor who can help support you with a guided meditation journey. Or you can utilise resources such as meditation apps, YouTube or online recordings to guide you through different meditation techniques and styles.
Embarking on a meditation journey is a personal and transformative experience. By incorporating this ancient practice into your life, you can unlock the door to tranquillity, emotional wellbeing, and enhanced focus.