Meditation in the time it takes to boil an egg!
Do you meditate?
A question I ask all my clients.Sometimes the response is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes people are just not sure whether they do or not, or whether they are doing it correctly. That is how I felt when I first embarked on practicing meditation.
I found that for the majority of the time that I was ‘doing it’ , I was actually thinking about whether I was doing it right or not. What was supposed to be happening? I persevered because I had been told that it was good for me.It is not natural for many of us, in this fast and furious world that we live in, to stop, and sit, and attempt to clear our mind.
All I know is that when I added meditation into my daily routine , I noticed I slept for longer, I had more energy during the day, and I had a clearer mind, with more ideas flowing into my head.
That’s what it does for me. I also noticed when I didn’t do it I was more likely to feel tense or slightly stressed or let my mind wander and worry a little.
I have indulged in many different forms of meditation, from guided meditations, which are created to perhaps find a solution, or give clarity to a situation, or improve health, to meditations where a mantra is repeated over and over, whilst listening to calming sounds or music.
I have liked most of the meditations I have tried, but it really is about discovering what suits you best.
I had been suggesting to my partner for a few months, that meditation could be good for him, but he wasn’t keen.
Then in 2013 we watched a BBC documentary with Michael Mosley on mindfulness. The programme showed how, by practicing meditation for 20minutes each day, you could indeed change your internal outlook, from glass half empty, to that of a glass half full.
Once he had seen the science behind it, and to be honest, probably because a man had reported on it he decided to give it a go. Within 4 days he felt brighter, lighter and more optimistic. Now he meditates every day, and claims that meditation is playing a part in his success at work and in sport.
I recently watched a Ted X talk on you tube, which showed that neuro scientist Sara Lazars has completed research, that scientifically proves the impact of meditation and mindfulness on the brain.
Meditation can help people with pain, stress, anxiety, depression, recovery, sleeplessness, optimism, connection, and the list goes on.
If you are just starting out with meditation and mindfulness, you may find it to be a rather unusual experience.
When I recommend meditation to people, they often find that 20 minutes is just too long to begin with.
During meditation you are aiming to focus your mind on one thing. You will not necessarily experience a feeling of zen or a completely empty mind. More an experience of focus.
You can start with simple activities. For example whilst out walking, you could try focusing on the sound of the wind, or the birds, or a feeling of just being present in that moment.When brushing your teeth at night, focus on the activity in hand, rather than thinking about a million other tasks you have to complete.
The simplest way to start, is to focus on your breathing. Your breath provides a natural rhythm to focus your mind on. Try setting the timer on your phone, close your eyes, and take 5 minutes to focus on the in and out flow of your breath.
As thoughts come into your mind, just let them pass, and return to focusing on the flow of your breath, as you breath slowly in and out.I recently interviewed Dina Proctor for Leading Ladies TV. Dina has created the 3×3 method which is meditation for 3 minutes, 3 times a day.This is a great system, because we can all fit this into our days, no matter what.
Dina discovered the 3×3 method after finding that 20 minutes was just too long for her to sit still initially. She decided that she would try to do 20 minutes, but spread out over the course of the day.
She managed regularly to do three minutes, three times a day and in a short period of time noticed the beneficial results.
The research showing the benefits of meditation grows daily. All we need to do is find what works best for us personally.I mix mine up a little depending on my mood, guided, mantra, breathing. Do whatever works best for you, the main thing is that you do it.
My recommendations for beginners are:-
Dina Proctor 3×3 mediation
Headspace which is available as a free app and starts off with 10 minutes a day
Plus, watch out for Deepak Chopra, and Oprah Winfrey who regularly offer 21 day free mediation downloads.
You can watch the interview with Dina Proctor here:
LIPSTICK Principle No. 1 LOVE – take time for yourself
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