Did you know that May is National Meditation Month? To celebrate, we’re discussing the benefits of meditation and techniques that you can use to help build meditation into your routine.
Meditation is something that we ourselves have been mindful of trying to add to our daily routines. It can certainly feel odd at first and often seems difficult to find the time to sit quietly. However, if you can slowly build meditation in, even if only a few times per week for a few minutes at first, you will begin to reap the benefits!
Benefits of Meditation:
One of the top reasons why people begin to meditate is to relax and reduce stress that they are currently feeling in their life. Meditation can certainly help with this short-term stress, but it can also help to reduce stress and anxiety long term. This is because meditating actually begins to change the way you think – enabling you to relax and assess situations differently as they come up.
On an emotional level, meditation also helps to:
🔥Gain new perspectives in stressful situations
🔥Encourage an overall healthy lifestyle
On a physical level, meditation helps to:
🔥Lower blood pressure
🔥Decrease tension and tension related pain (i.e. headaches)
🔥Improve your immune system
Now if you are like us when we first thought of meditating, you may be thinking, “how the hell am I going to find time to meditate?” Sometimes the thought of trying to find time and sitting quietly is stressful in and of itself!
As a result, if you are new to this, we recommend beginning slowly. If you have time, try to meditate once a day for 3-5 minutes, and then slowly increase duration every 1-2 weeks. However, if you are lacking time or just want to see if this is for you, start off with only a few times per week, meditating for 3-5 minutes, and every couple of weeks, try to add on another day and increase the duration of time that you meditate.
Below we outline some more helpful techniques to get you started with meditation.
How to Meditate:
Meditation is a way of training your mind, just like you train your body to run, do push-ups, etc. There are many different styles and approaches to meditation, but here is how you can get started:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back tall. We highly recommend sitting on a yoga block or propping yourself up on blankets or pillows to help you sit up tall and feel comfortable.
- Close your eyes. One of the reasons we recommend sitting up tall in the previous point is because we do not want you to fall asleep when you close your eyes!
- Let your hands relax on your knees or down beside you.
- Breath. Don’t worry about taking long breaths or holding your breath. Just breath normally.
- Sitting still with your eyes closed, just focus on your breath. Thoughts will inevitably come into your mind, and when they do, slowly return your mind back to your breath and begin again. This idea of identifying when your mind is lost in thought, letting it go, and then returning to your breath is part of the whole practice of meditation.
Tips to Help Create a Positive Meditation Environment
Having a good place to meditate will help you unwind and focus on your breath. Here are a few tips for creating a positive meditation environment:
- Find a quite space where no one can disturb you
- Dim lights
- Sit on a block, pillow, or blankets
- Set an alarm so you don’t need to worry about the time while meditating
Sometimes you don’t have one of these places available but still want to meditate. That’s OK! For example, you could be on the train back from work, sitting on an airplane, or at your desk and still get in some meditation. Just try to sit up tall, close your eyes, and focus on taking a few breaths to help you relax.
We will be following up with a Part 2 to our meditation post, which will take a deeper dive and focus on the different types of meditation.