Meditation not only helps relieve anxiety and stress but also actually rewires the brain to make it healthier and help it work better.
Even if you have never meditated before, retraining your brain involves 10 simple steps.
1. Time and Space:
Choose a regular time for your meditation. Make it part of your routine. Find a quiet space, free from distractions.
Set a timer. Baby steps. At first, sitting quietly will feel strange, but with practice, you will be able to increase the time. Start with 5 minutes and gradually increase the time to 15 -30 minutes.
Sit comfortably. You can sit cross-legged on a rug, outside on the grass or, if it is easier for you, on a chair with your feet resting flat on the ground. If you need a cushion to support your lower back, that is fine.
Sit up straight, with your hands resting comfortably on your knees or in your lap. Draw your chin slightly downward while keeping your neck long. Hold your tongue on the roof of your mouth and either close your eyes or gaze at a point on the ground ahead of you.
Breathe deeply. This helps settle your body and establish a grounded presence.
Focus on your breathing. Count as you breathe. In -1, out -2, in – 3, and so on to 10, then start over. Feel the breath flowing through your body. Try to hold your focus on the feeling of the cool air coming in and the warm air flowing out.
Maintain the focus as you continue to breathe. Feel the ground (or chair) beneath you. Breathe into your diaphragm. Notice the air entering and leaving your body. If your attention wanders, resume your counting. Allow the steady rhythm of your breath to bring stillness to you.
Repeat Steps 6 and 7. During the meditation session, as your attention wanders, acknowledge the thought and return to your focus to your breathing.
Don’t be upset if you find meditating difficult at first. Some people even fall asleep while meditating. Lying down may not be the best position for meditation if this happens to you. Be kind with yourself. Even short periods of quiet focus are beneficial. Hang in there. Keep practising.
10. Return gently:
When the timer goes off, keep your eyes closed for a little while. Open them when you are ready. Be grateful for the time you have given yourself and give thanks.
31 Day Meditation Challenge
To get you started on a regular meditation practice, join in our thirty-one day challenge. Track you progress with the free planner insert. The tracker is available in both A5 or Personal planner size.
Download your A5 31 Day Challenge planner insert here.
Download the Personal sized planner insert here.