A beginner's guide to meditation
It's time to relax and unwind, make time for a little meditation each day and feel the benefits to your wellbeing.
Most of us know the feeling; the quickened heartbeat, feeling of coasting with our feet off the ground, never really knowing where we are. Starting four jobs at the same time, adrendline pumping and the sensation of feeling utterly exhausted when we stop.
Last Tuesday was National Stress Awareness Day. One way to deal with stress is to use meditation. It slows the heartbeat, focuses you by connecting mind and body, and allows oxygen to flow from the top of your head to your toes.
We are advocates. When travelling on bumpy buses in Sri Lanka, while pregnant with to do lists five sheets long, at our desk in Cornwall with deadlines and too much excitement, unwinding at an evening yoga class, during a long morning shower – anywhere and everywhere you can tap in to meditative techniques.
Ideally, you will commit to regular daily practice. Perhaps in the morning, you can allow yourself to really focus for 10 minutes or so. Then you can access that pure and liberating feeling you have discovered throughout the day wherever you may be. It’s true what they say, if it’s part of your schedule, you are more likely to stick to it.
Here we have a beginner’s guide to meditation:
- 1. Take off your shoes. It’s important that you’re comfortable and you feel that connection with the earth, the feel of the floor and no restraints.
- 2. Gaze softly into the middle distance and take five, deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth.
- 3. Close your eyes, become aware of your body. You eyes, eyelids, ears, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, back, legs, knees and toes. Then think about your senses; what can you hear, smell, taste, are you warm or cold.
- 4. Scan your body again, slowly. Feel yourself let go of tension.
- 5. Notice any underlying thoughts, your mood and feelings. Acknowledge them and let them drift by. Before you realise it, you will not be thinking about anything and your mind will be free.
- 6. Think about how and why you are here. Your role is only to sit and be.
- 7. Breathe. Focus on your breathing. Count your breaths, allow your mind to wander. It will meet all sorts of thoughts, but gradually they will dissipate and you will be left feeling so much lighter.
- 8. Before you bring yourself out of your meditation, bask in just being in the moment. No requests, to do lists or ringing phones. Just you in the moment.
9. Slowly start to scan your body again, your face, shoulders, arms and legs. Notice your senses again, what can you hear, taste, smell and feel. Very slowly, open your eyes.
- 10. You will have a certain sense of clarity now and it is something you can bring back throughout the day with a few deep breaths, anywhere you are.
- From our own experience and using Headspace