Published on 21 June 2023 at 11:57

I have always been drawn to meditative practices, and have a consistent personal practice of my own. I want to encourage you to be open minded and give this a try. 

I am a certified meditation teacher, please reach out if you want guidance or coaching in this area. I love sharing about my practice and the benefits. 

There are many  benefits to a meditation practice- including better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness and self-esteem, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and fostering kindness. Meditation helps you focus on the present, which can improve your concentration on other tasks in daily life. 

Meditation encourages you to slow down, allows for deeper self-reflection, and can help you discover positive attributes about yourself.  Mindfulness helps increase self-awareness by increasing the ability to examine one's thoughts and feelings without judgment, which ends up improving self-esteem.

Meditation can also lower cortisol levels,  the stress hormone —which helps you feel more relaxed. Repeating a mantra — such as a word or phrase — during meditation can also have a calming affect- and by concentrating on your mantra, you're able to shift your focus away from distracting thoughts. 

Mindfulness meditation helps train your mind to focus on the present, making you less likely to ruminate on anxious thoughts that can fuel depression. 

Meditation isn't about learning how to empty your mind or stop your thoughts. Instead, meditation is the practice of training your attention and focus from a place of non-judgement.

Mindfulness  meditation is the most common type of meditation in the West. Mindfulness has to do with paying attention to what you're feeling and observing in the present moment. 

If the main idea of meditation is to be present and aware of your thoughts and feelings, mindfulness is the ongoing practice of honing that awareness and reconnecting to what we do and why we do it.

For example, if you're totally immersed in a single task, and not thinking about the past or imagining the future, you're being mindful. Or, if you go for a walk and feel lost in nature, becoming attuned to the chirping birds or falling leaves, you're also being mindful. In other words: meditation isn't the only way to be mindful.

On the other hand, meditation is the intentional practice of mindfulness. Instead of focusing on nature or a specific task, you're focusing on each inhale and exhale of your breathing. This type of mindful breathing is a  useful way to anchor your focus in the present moment.

Mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere that you can focus. Here are a few steps to help you meditate: 

  1. Find a quiet space. Make sure there is nothing to disturb you before you start meditation. Turn your phone on silent and go into a room away from others. 
  2. Sit in a comfortable position. You can sit on top of a cushion or blanket, on the floor or in a chair. Sit upright, but don't tense up — your body should feel relaxed. 
  3. Breathe gently. Focus your attention on each inhale and exhale. Alternatively, you can begin with a body scan: focus on each part of the body, down from your toes and up to your head, pausing to notice the sensations.
  4. Let distractions come and go. If your mind wanders, acknowledge the thought that has distracted you, but do not dwell on it. Then, gently bring your attention back to your breathing. Getting distracted when meditating is inevitable and one of the biggest worries for beginners — but learning how to manage distraction is a vital part of the process.  

Meditating for just five to 10 minutes each day is an achievement to be proud of. Some people like to meditate for as long as 30 minutes to 45 minutes once they become more experienced, but there are benefits even with short amounts of practice. 

If possible, try to meditate at the same time every day, as this will help you build a habit so you build meditation into your daily schedule. And if you have to skip a day for whatever reason, don't be too hard on yourself — just try to get back to your routine the next day. 


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