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How to Meditate

There are lots of great reasons to contemplate giving meditation a try. A chief motivation is often the desire to improve mental well being. Through meditation you can achieve mindfulness which is an increased awareness of yourself and the world around you. This process can help you reduce stress and appreciate your life more.

Would you like a system to help you cope with stress? Would you like to be calmer and more mindful in general? Or maybe you’ve heard that meditation can increase productivity and you’d like to channel this into your work or daily life?

There’s a wide array of benefits found from meditation, here are just a few of them:

  • People who practise meditation require less sleep
  • Improves brain function
  • Reduces fear and anxiety
  • Increases creativity and productivity
  • Can normalise irregular sleep pattern

Many people find 30 minutes of meditation more restorative than 30 minutes of sleep. Ideal times to practise meditation are first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

The common misconception about meditation is that you need absolute privacy or a specific setting to practise in. Very few people can boast that they have ready access to nearby woodland or a secluded beach so it’s important to find an alternative location that suits your lifestyle - most people find it best to integrate the practise into their daily routine or work journey.

If you commute to work on a bus or train, then you could quite easily find a few minutes to dedicate to practise. Instead of reaching for a book, switching on your laptop or listening to your iPod - why not use that free time for meditation? Be careful though, you must time your meditation carefully, you don’t miss your stop or station because you’re in a meditative state!

If you ever suffer from depression, insomnia or you sometimes struggle with an overactive mind at bedtime, then meditation could be the ideal solution for you. However, if you find that your symptoms are not easing then it might be worth trying some supplements that support, sleep, anxiety and depression.

Have you ever been sat in waiting room at the dentist or an airport, frustrated by the time you’re spending doing nothing or maybe even getting more nervous with each passing minute? Instead of clock-watching, why not release that tension and make the best of the situation? At worst, you will kill some time - at best you will face your meeting, appointment or journey with a tranquil mind.

If you’re interested in giving meditation a try then here are the basic steps you need to take:

  • Pick a time - Choose a time of day that suits your schedule and that you think you can maintain in the future
  • Find an area – Try and find a quiet location where you’re unlikely to be disturbed
  • Set up your equipment – If you prefer using a mat or cushion then get these items in place. If you’re not using specific accessories, then just find a comfortable seat
  • Get comfortable – Whatever position you choose, ensure that it’s one that you are comfortable holding for a short period of time. It might be tempting to lie down to meditate, however, this could make you fall asleep.
  • Set a timer - Use your phone to set up an alarm to measure how long you meditate. Ensure that you choose a tranquil alarm tone, you don’t want to end your session with a loud, grating sound.
  • Focus on breathing – Close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths before continuing breathing at a normal pace through your nose.
  • Choose a mantra and repeat it – While using a mantra is not necessary for meditation, some people find it really helps them settle their mind. This process should be effortless and not at all forced. Imagine the words as opposed to repeating them to yourself.
  • Don’t try to empty your mind – Although it is understood that clearing your mind is vital to this process, it is human nature for the mind to wander. Don’t worry if you become temporarily distracted by other thoughts just let them pass and focus again on your mantra or breathing pattern.
  • Resume activities slowly – Whatever amount of time you’re able to dedicate to meditation, ensure that when your alarm has sounded you don’t panic into action. Simply switch off your alarm and give yourself another quick minute or two of peaceful breathing before gently standing up and returning to your daily routine.

Clearing the mind is a challenge that when achieved can bring with it a limitless amount of possibilities and potential. You might find that it becomes an invaluable source of release to the stresses and strains of your daily life.