Learn to Meditate
Learning to meditate is something that many of my clients struggle with…
I can’t sit still long enough.
I can’t empty my mind.
I get distracted by noises around me.
If you are learning to meditate, or just need a refresher, I’ve put together this blog to help you get started with your meditation practice.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with acceptance and without judgement.
Meditation is not about being perfect. It is simply about creating a deep state of peace and relaxation for yourself.
You are not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings completely, but instead are learning to observe them without any judgement.
This will, eventually, lead you to have a better understanding of your thoughts too.
Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. Think of it like exercising a muscle that you’ve never really worked out before. It takes consistent practice to get comfortable. And the more you practice the easier it will become. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself - relax.
We can gain so many benefits from having a regular meditation practice, such as:
Deeper muscle relaxation
Reduced anxiety and stress
Lower blood pressure
Strengthened the immune system
Increased energy levels
Improved learning ability and memory
Increased intuition and creativity
Meditation has been used for thousands of years in various religions and therapies. Scientists are now starting to prove that meditation can positively impact the brain and mental health.
How to Start Meditating
Try not to treat your meditation time as a chore – look at it as a loving and self-nurturing special time for yourself.
Where to Meditate
Firstly, you need to create the right environment for meditation.
Meditating outdoors is a lovely way to meditate and very grounding. We get many benefits from being outdoors, so perhaps visit a wood, a local park, sit under a tree or even just in your back garden.If you want to learn more about how to ground yourself, check out my blog: https://www.grounded-goddess.com/blog/do-you-need-to-ground-yourself
However, with rain, cold, and shorter days not an inviting option, most of us will mainly meditate indoors.
Ideally, choose a quiet space away from distractions such as the television, your mobile phone, pets etc. If you can set up a dedicated area as a sacred space to meditate, that’s great. If not, choose a regular room and use some of the ideas below to let the space and your body know that it’s time to meditate. By setting this intention, you will automatically feel more relaxed as you enter your dedicated area.
Remember to let your family know you can not be disturbed for the next 20 minutes
Setting Up Space to Meditate
Here are a few ideas for creating a relaxing place to meditate.
Use lighting to change the atmosphere. Dim the lights or light a few candles.
Introduce your favourite aromas to set the ambience.Try an essential oil burner or diffuser, an incense stick, or a scented candle.
Music can help to set the scene. Use any relaxing, soothing sounds. There are lots of free meditation audios on YouTube. Find the sounds that suit you.
Add cushions and soft blankets. These will make you feel cosy, snug and loved.
Once your space is set up, find a comfortable position. Some people like to sit cross legged on the floor; others prefer to be seated in a chair (if you do this, ensure your feet are connected to the ground).You can even lay down on the floor. Whichever position you choose the most important thing is that you are comfortable and that you keep your spine straight and well supported.
Most people will close their eyes when they meditate. Some will use a mantra to keep them focused too.
Once you are comfortable, gently clear your mind and begin to focus solely on your breath.
We have thousands of thoughts each day and it’s hard to quieten those thoughts. During your meditation simply acknowledge the thought, do not dwell or linger with the thought, simply let it go. I like to imagine it floating off on a cloud. Each time, return to your breath.
There’s no such thing as perfect meditation. Sometimes your focus will wander, or you’ll forget to follow your breath. That’s OK. It’s part of the experience.
Ideally, try to meditate daily even if only for 5/10 minutes. It takes time to teach your mind and body to relax in this way.. There might be setbacks along the way but that’s part of meditating. Keep practising.
You’re doing great just by showing up.
After Your Meditation
Following your meditation, it is important to allow yourself to ‘come back around’ as you may feel floaty or spaced out.
Allow yourself plenty of time to come around and do not rush the process.Ground yourself by keeping your feet flat on the floor and visualising roots coming from the soles of your feet spreading deep down into the earth below.
Make sure you drink plenty of water. A warming herbal tea and a healthy snack are a lovely way to finish your meditation.
I hope these ideas have helped you introduce meditation into your life. If you are new to meditation, I’d love to know how you get on with your first attempt.
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