We have all heard how good meditation is for calming our minds, lowering our blood pressure and generally de-stressing. Did you know, though, that it also an incredible tool for helping boost brain power?
I suspect that you have heard the many benefits of meditation but may be unsure what to do next. Today, I will share a few things to get you started.
Meditation is not only useful for mindfulness — it IS mindfulness. It allows you to stop all of the “noise” and get in touch with your inner voice. It has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress, improve concentration and amp up happiness. You’ll find all of our other exercises have led to this point — the ability to start meditating successfully. As with everything, there is no “right” or “wrong” way. I am going to give you some good general tips so you can build this into your own unique meditation practice.
Let’s get started!
1. Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted for at least twenty minutes. The quieter the environment, the better.
2. Sit solidly. By this I mean, find a position, whether in a chair, on a floor cushion or wherever where you’re able to sit in a stable manner without leaning, perching or otherwise having to compensate for some irregularity.
3. Cross your legs comfortably, if on the floor or a mat. Don’t attempt to cross your legs in any situation where you’ll be uncomfortable.
4. Sit up straight. Don’t strain, as this is counterproductive to meditation, but straightening your upper body from hips to head will make a big difference in the quality of your meditation (and it’s great for your posture!).
5. Allow your arms to flow parallel with your body and lay your hands on your thighs.
6. Settle in and make sure you’re comfortable — make sure there is no stiffness or straining to hold the position. Allow your gaze to fall naturally in front of you.
7. Once you feel comfortably settled, focus on your breath — the way it feels coming in and out of your body, the rhythm, and you can even mentally repeat a phrase for each inhalation and exhalation, even as simple as, “Breath In” on the inhale and “Breath Out” on the exhale.
8. Your mind will wander — don’t judge yourself. Just gently bring your focus back into the moment. The more you start to practice this, the easier it will become. Just stay in the moment — drifting away and back is a normal and desirable aspect of meditation.
9. Practice this for twenty minutes a day. It may be hard at first to find the time, but you’ll find you can carve that little bit of time out for the enormous benefits you will reap from it.
This seems like an over-simplified version, but I really want YOU to find your own level with meditation. Like anything else, it is incredibly personal and not a one-size-fits-all practice. The more you do it, the more personal it will become, and you’ll develop your own method that allows you to be fully present in the current moment.
Journal your thoughts and feelings about this process in a journal. You may start to see trends as your habits evolve. It’s a fascinating process! Questions? Let me know!
About the Author
Devin C. Hughes is a speaker, writer & storyteller from Washington D.C. who now lives in Southern CA. He is the author of nine books. He is currently traveling the world with a mission to help people change their lifestyle for good. Join his email list for more inspiring stories, exciting new research and actionable advice to redesign your lifestyle for happiness and success.
Connect with him via his website - www.devinchughes.com
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