While people are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of mediation, some still find the idea of practicing it regularly intimidating. What many fail to realize is that meditation isn’t difficult to incorporate into their daily lives. In as little as 10 minutes a day, you can learn to identify your thought patterns, ease your anxiety, and feel closer to your true self.
Meditation’s benefits are especially valuable in the era of social distancing, in which social isolation and other restrictions have led to a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression. Here are a few tips to help you start regular meditation practice, courtesy of Autumn Asphodel.
Approaching With the Right Mindset
When choosing to meditate, your mindset is critical. If you think of your practice as a chore, you will find reasons to dismiss its potential benefits, like reducing pain and inflammation and lowering anxiety. At the same time, Psych Central warns that if you expect to experience radical changes in your mental state immediately, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Meditation can actually “rewire” your brain to help you be happier and think more clearly, but it takes some time and dedication.
Your mindset should be one of mindful optimism. Do your best to enjoy the process of learning to meditate. Along the way, you will discover new things about yourself. No matter what you learn, this is a good thing.
In its essence, meditation is incredibly simple. While there are many different types of practice, all of them involve a constant emphasis on focus. Insider notes it essentially boils down to focusing on the present.
You should start your first session by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. Allow yourself to become aware of the position of your body. Focus on breathing in and out through your nose. After a while, you may prefer to focus all of your attention on the place where you feel your breath. Your attention will naturally stray toward other things. Don’t worry; this is part of the process. Simply acknowledge any thoughts that arise, and return your focus to your breath.
After a predetermined period, you can stop, although continuing for longer is perfectly acceptable. As your practice continues to yield positive results, you may start to become excited about meditating every day.
Creating a Meditation Space
The mind tends to reflect its environment. If your space is frequently cluttered and disorganized, your thought patterns tend to reflect this. When deciding on a place to meditate, carefully consider your associations with different parts of your home. If a particular room or area evokes stress and anxiety, for example, avoid using it as a meditation space.
Make an effort to ensure your space promotes positivity. While large amounts of manmade clutter are generally unhelpful for relaxation, plentiful plants can improve your ability to meditate. Try to incorporate as much natural light, fresh air, cleanliness, and plant life as possible into your meditation space. You may find that doing so improves your attitude well after you have stopped meditating for the day.
Understanding the Benefits of Meditation
As Greater Good Magazine explains, the benefits of meditation are consistently being confirmed by scientific research. After practicing for a time, you may notice that your ability to handle stress or negative emotions has improved. You may also learn to see your own behaviors in a more objective light, and you might feel you are thinking more clearly.
While stress and anxiety are natural responses to the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they can leave your body vulnerable to illness. Scientists have only recently begun to explore this connection in detail. Reducing stress through activities like meditation, connecting with an empowering life coach, spending time in nature, and engaging in aromatherapy, therefore, can help keep you safe and healthy during trying times.
While convincing yourself to meditate regularly can be difficult at first, your efforts should pay off in the long run. When you optimize your mind and your space for mindfulness, good things can start to happen.
Turn to Autumn Asphodel for more information, ideas and inspiration for your life journey!