If you still haven’t started your meditation practice you’re in luck. This post will give you some quick ways to get started today!
I can already hear you thinking (yes, that’s one of my special powers) – a “Meditation PRACTICE” ugh…..that sounds so serious, it must require lots of dedication and tons of time.
Well you only have to “practice” – until it becomes a HABIT – then you don’t have to think about it – kind of like brushing your teeth.
Meditation goals – advanced method
One of my nephews from back east came to visit last summer. He took the train, bus & backpacked his way across the country. Seriously…..
The goal of his trip was to attend a 10 day meditation retreat. Each day consisted of 10 hours of meditation. I know, I know…that’s a lot of meditating – but it gets better/worse? – all students observe “noble silence” for the first 9 full days— which is silence of body, speech and mind. (no, that’s not him in the pix)
I love a quiet and peaceful environment – for a while. But I’m lucky if I can focus on what I’m doing for 10 minutes. Too many distractions and a busy mind.
Even so – I have zero desire to sit in silence for 10 hours anywhere, anytime unless I’m asleep.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to meditate – just keep trying different styles until you find the perfect match.
Why should you start meditating?
Here’s a list of the best reasons to meditate:
- Meditation Is FREE
- Meditation can be done anywhere, can be done at anytime, can be done alone or with anyone you like
- Meditation only causes Good: no injuries, no addiction, you can’t “over-do it” –
- Meditation has lingering positive effects (helps us handle stress better, make better decisions, manage anxiety, create our reality)
- Meditation has proven scientific health benefits
In our chaotic, stressful and busy – so busy being busy – lives, it’s important we find ways to remind & eventually train ourselves to slow down and be present.
Meditation doesn’t provide the answers – but it makes the questions go away~
9 ways to start Meditating today:
No floor cushion or incense or chanting required (unless you’re into that).
Mindfulness – this is a quick & easy place to start. Mindfulness is simply focusing on being present and aware. Mindfulness and Meditation are used interchangeably but Mindfulness is actually a form of meditation. Use this method to stop a negative spiral or to calm yourself before a big meeting. Eyes open or closed – simply start to count and focus on each (deep) breath.
Reciting a Mantra – a mantra is a word or phrase you whisper, speak or repeat in the mind. Think of it like putting yourself in a light trance – centering your mind and focus on that one phrase. Get started with this simple one: “Aham Prema” (ah-hem-pree-mah) – translation is “I am Divine Love.”
Chakra work – there are 7 primary energy centers in your body. It’s important for both mental and physical health to keep them in balance. Learning how to manage the flow of energy and clear blockages can even prevent illness. The best way to get started is using guided meditations that focus on all 7 chakras. Try this short one I’ve linked here: 10 Minute Chakra Balance Guided Meditation.
Walking meditation – a simple start is by walking with deliberate focus on your body – notice or even count each step, feel the sensation in your hips, notice your breathing pace and rhythm. Engage your other senses by tuning into the sights, sounds and smells around you. You could also combine walking with reciting a mantra.
Deep breathing exercises – I originally started using deep breathing exercises to help ease my anxiety when flying. As I’ve gotten older – I found myself starting to suffer mild panic attacks when flying. Deep breathing has eliminated those attacks. Watch this directional video from Dr. Andrew Weil.
Guided meditation– I LOVE guided meditations because it keeps me on course and for the timing aspect. Check out the popular CALM or Headspace apps. There are tons of FREE guided meditations available on YouTube. Search by topic (motivation, creativity, anxiety) and duration (5 minute, 10 minute, etc.). Here’s one of my favorites: Let Go of Anxiety, Fear and Worry.
Affirmations – many people use mantras and affirmations interchangeably but they are very different. Affirmations are positive statements usually said in complete sentences. Positive and motivating statements that help you avoid negative thoughts. I love this one: “I live in the present and am confident in the future.” which is #11 on this list from Women’s Health.
Sleep meditation – this one is my go-to for sure. I’m so grateful to have found this 5 minute meditation – guided by the legendary Dr. Wayne Dyer – that primes your mind for a restful but productive sleep. This is PRECIOUS time to prime your subconscious – If we just lie there and review all the BAD things that happened, all the reasons we’re mad, all the things that were negative – THAT is what we’ll create more of tomorrow.
Journaling– writing, doodling, drawing – any form of writing that puts you into a flow state is a form of meditation. Play your favorite music and get lost in what you’re doing – not what you’re thinking.
Meditation should become a lifelong health habit
By now I’m sure you realize how easy it is to sneak in a few quality, short meditation sessions each day. The more you practice being Mindful, the more natural and habitual it becomes.
Begin with just a few minutes a day.…then progress into longer sessions. Meditation is something you can for the rest of your life regardless or your age, physical health or limitations.
A consistent meditation practice will actually alter your brain activity! This article from Psychology Today does a great job of explaining the brain benefits.
Meditation is THE fastest growing wellness activity in the U.S.
Meditation is not a trend or fad – or the “hot thing” everyone’s doing. Try a few different methods and then go deep (longer duration, more frequent) with the one that works best for you. Soon you’ll start to notice the positive shifts like less stress & anxiety, better decision making and more balanced emotions.
Whether you’re an athlete, recovering couch potato or somewhere in between – this wellness activity works for everyone. Although this is a “trillion $$ ++” global wellness industry….there is No membership required. 🙂
Buddha was a Baller
It’s no secret – or surprise – that the majority of today’s most influential and successful CEOs, executives & celebrities swear by their daily meditation practice.
Former NCAA Basketball Coach Ryan Stock wrote a Mindfulness book for athletes called: Buddha Was a Baller: How To Awaken The Athlete Inside You. He said he wrote it to help athletes get serious about their brain health and awaken their inner athlete. And because so many athletes silently suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
“Buddha would have been the ultimate baller because he was was patient, mindful, and strategic—all of the things that can enhance an athlete’s playing ability and experience,” said Stock.
Don’t let Meditation be one more thing you “should do” or that you’ll start next weekend.
Take a minute right now (set a timer if you must) and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in, let it out and say the affirmation, “Happiness is my Choice.” Repeat those 3 steps (breathe in, breathe out, affirmation) over and over until the timer goes off.
You just did a 1-minute meditation.
It’s that simple. No special planning, equipment or bullet journal needed.
Let me know which method you’re going to try next?
P.S. have you ever stopped to realize Meditation is one letter away from Medication!? hmmm -The choice is yours…….