Meditation is a great tool to combat stress and help you feel happier and more at ease. But many people don’t know how to start to incorporate meditation into their busy lives. Meditation can make coping with daily stressors easier and give you the often much needed power to “let go” of troubling thoughts or emotions. It’s easy to get started if you’re willing to try it for just a few minutes a day!
Begin by dedicating just five minutes a day to your meditation practice. You can meditate almost anyplace, but when you’re starting to practice it’s easiest in a calming and comfortable environment. Try to find somewhere in your home where you know you can find a few minutes of solace that’s free from distractions. Start by sitting in a comfortable chair, then close your eyes. Simply allow yourself to breathe naturally and easily. Tune into your breath. One easy way to meditate is to focus on the word in as you inhale and out as you exhale. Eventually you can personalize these words to help with whatever is going on in your life. For example, you may choose to inhale with the word let and exhale with the word go. Allow any thoughts that enter your mind to come in and then gently fade away.
Another simple meditation strategy is to close your eyes and look straight upward with your eyes closed as if you are looking out through your third eye – the space between your eyebrows. Breathe naturally, as you focus your mind on this space. If thoughts enter your mind, begin to count your breaths. As you inhale and exhale count one, then inhale, exhale, count two. Continue this until you get up to ten and then begin again at one. If you find that you’re losing count, simply start again at one and reset your focus on not losing count. If your mind becomes blank and quiet, allow that to happen! Even if your mind goes on a tangent, as long as you’re doing this peacefully and effortlessly, you are doing it perfectly well. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to meditate. It is simply allowing yourself to be with experience of the moment as it is. In other words, the best meditation for you, is the one you are doing.
Don’t be surprised at how active your mind can be when you start meditating. Like with many things, practice is key. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes some time to feel the full benefits – stick with it and you’ll be surprised at what new doors can open for you.
As meditation becomes easier and easier to do, increase the amount of time per session to ten minutes, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes or more. As you progress, you’ll find you can quiet your mind more readily, no matter what’s going on around you.