Meditation is becoming increasingly mainstream. The old reputation that it was for hippies, guru’s and sadhus only has well and truly been shelved. It’s now openly acknowledged as a way to clear the mind, letting go of negative feelings and soaking in gratitude.
It’s not all about burning incense, sitting in a darkened room and chanting complicated prayers. Not at all. In fact, you can meditate anytime, anywhere and for any duration of time that you like. For most people, the first time, stilling and silencing the mind, won’t last for more than 2 or 3 minutes (if that!). That’s totally fine though, it isn’t about diving into 20 or 30-minute sessions right off the bat, it’s about gently easing your mind and body into a new routine.
Why do you want me to do this? I hear you ask! In honesty, I was a skeptic too. I was first introduced to meditation at University by a professor who made us all silently switch off our brains mid-lecture. It sounds bizarre, but we probably concentrated more in that next hour than any other. I found it weirdly relaxing and enlightening at the same time. I’m not talking epiphany or re-birth here, just a bit more mental clarity.
I’ve since tampered with the concept on numerous levels. I find it particularly useful on those nights when you can’t sleep, and your brain just goes around and around different concerns and considerations. So much so that I have recently tried to bring it into my bedtime routine to help me unwind and get a good night’s rest. It’s not foolproof, but it certainly helps.
The world is full of plenty of pressures, and we often have a lot to think about. Meditation can help to ease that tension, offering a small rest and relaxation period for your mind amidst the chaos.
If you are looking to give it a go, here are a few tips for first-timers:
- You don’t need to go it alone, there are plenty of apps to ease you into it.
- Don’t over-complicate it, pop it into a part of your day where it naturally fits.
- Don’t try to go for too long.
- All you need is a peaceful space, don’t worry about where that is, so long as you won’t be disturbed.
- Find a mental happy place, and go there. Mine is a beach in Tanzania, FYI.
I guess all I’m saying is, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Trying it does not mean 18 seconds and then quitting, it means a few days of engaged attempts, withholding judgment. You never know, it might just open you up to a headspace you didn’t know you had. If not, it might help you sleep on those particularly mind-loaded nights. Either way, you’re winning.
Featured image via cottonbro on Pexels