“The quieter you become the more you can hear”.
When we become mindful of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, behaviors and surroundings, we can change them. Becoming aware or practicing mindfulness is simply playing attention to what is happening around you, right now. It may sound ridiculously easy, but consider how many things compete for your attention at any given moment.
Many people think about trying meditation, but many of us don’t know where to start. Be sure to start small. Think 5 minutes per day in the beginning.
Here are some ways to be successful:
- Choose a convenient time to meditate. You want to be relaxed and you want this to be convenient. Try to add it into your morning or evening routine.
- Once you pick a convenient time to practice, be sure to pick a comfortable place. Try to find a spot where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes.
- Make sure that during your practice you are sitting comfortably. Try to sit up straight keeping your spine erect and be sure to relax your shoulders and neck and keep your eyes closed.
- As you meditate be sure to focus on your breath. This will keep you calm and will keep your mind silent.
Many people think that meditation won't work for them, or is a waste of time. It is easy to come up with reasons not to do it. Here are some -
5 Excuses NOT to Meditate:
- It sounds boring. - Sure. I guess you could argue that, but the few minutes you take for yourself can be a very powerful tool.
- I can’t sit still. - It’s alright if you move around at first. Meditation is going to be a work in progress. It is alright if it doesn’t look perfect at first.
- I don’t have time. - Everyone is busy. You only need a few minutes to be successful to see results.
- I’m scared to be alone with my thoughts. - It may be scary at first, and you are not alone in thinking this. Getting outside your comfort zone is a huge part of the process.
- My mind wanders. - That’s ok! Let it wander, but respect the process of silencing it and bringing the focus back to your breath to silence the mind.
Here are some of the many Benefits of Meditation:
- It can help you understand your inner thoughts. Pain, anxiety, and noise in your mind can cause lots of underlying issues. With meditation you can help silence this noise and see firsthand some of the issues.
- It can help lower stress levels. Excess stress cause cause lots of illnesses. Practicing mindfulness a few minutes each day has been proven to help lower stress levels and help with overall stress management.
- It will help you connect better. You will start to understand yourself better, which will carryover into other relationships. You will also be able to focus and work towards relationships better.
- It will help you improve your focus. Meditation can help hone in the skills you need to focus and complete tasks.
- It will reduce brain chatter. By lowering stress and being able to focus, that excessive chatter in your brain will start to quiet.
- We can gain back control.
- It can help prevent bad decisions before you make them.
- It helps us recognize that we are human, and that this is an ok thing.
You can take a few minutes and practice mindfulness on your own, or you can use a guided meditation to keep you successful throughout your practice. I like the app HeadSpace. They offer guided practices that are under 10 minutes per day. Start here if this is something new for you.