If someone had told me to meditate 10 years ago, I would have laughed in their faces and told them to ‘shut up’. The dogma around this practice was often thought of as a bizarre ritual aimed at pill popping hippies or fat bald Buddha’s. Fast forward 10 years and guess what, I meditate and practice numerous methods with in in this art. So why the change of heart!
The science behind stress being the silent killer is ever increasing. “95% of dis-ease is caused by stress” National Institute of Health (2010). Since then connection between stress resulting in autoimmune disorders, cancers and mental illnesses are ever increasing. We all need to look at all methods of combating stress. Meditation has been proven to have positive effects on both physical and mental well-being. Time to embrace your inner hippy!
I remember reading the One Thing by Gary Keller (awesome read), where he mentioned early morning meditation is key to his success, inspired after reading this book I decided to give it a shot. With no one at the flat, I sat crossed leg, eyes closed, attempted to clear my mind whilst making a ridiculous humming sound (got this from a YouTube video). As you can imagine I felt like an idiot and my mind was going into over drive, epic fail. I decided to do more research into this, I found beginners videos to follow and began meditating with a good friend. It wasn’t long before I felt amazing after mediating for only 5 mins a day. Not content with my new found success I looked at other techniques:
- Tai Chi
- Reflective meditation
- Mindfulness meditation
- Colouring books
After listening to a talk from Andrew Puddicombe (link below), I found his approach best suited my needs and downloaded his app ‘Headspace’. Since then, I have made it a priority of meditate every day and do so for 20 mins.
Link to the headspace: https://www.headspace.com/how-it-works
Common mistakes (I have learnt from):
- Distractions: Remove yourself from environments that have music, people or computers close by.
- Comfort: Once you start increasing the duration you need to make sure you are comfortable, otherwise you will not be focusing on meditation but moving around.
- Duration: Begin with short durations otherwise you are more than likely to fall asleep or get bored.
- Practice: Like anything it takes time, patience is the key. Just like gym training don’t expect miracles straight away.
- Effort: Never force a meditating session, the purpose is to be in a relaxed mindful state.
- Breathe: A common issue I often come across with clients, they have forgotten to belly breathe: Focus on deep breathes through your nose and make sure you breathe everything out before the next inhalation.
- Questioning yourself: causes a distraction by creating the idea that you may be meditating incorrectly. Instead of letting go, you are questioning yourself coming to conclusion that you are messing up. The purpose of meditation is to rebuild the relationship between mind and body, not by judging yourself.
Remember to set aside time to meditate, build this routine in order to turn it into a habit, I guarantee you will be not be disappointed with the results. Here is the link to the video I mentioned earlier: