The Importance Of Meditation
Times are tough. We are more connected and switched on than ever and that’s having a major impact on our mental health and wellbeing. But meditation can help. Without meditation, we may find ourselves turning to alternative ways to cope with life’s stresses and strains.
Do you do any of the following?
- Ignoring problems or things going on around you?
- Procrastination and avoiding things?
- Trying to control everything?
- Quitting projects or not even getting started?
- Complaining or lashing out at others?
If these sound like you, then you could benefit from meditation.
How can meditation help you right now?
- Help us to notice when we’re caught up in anxious thoughts — when you notice this, you can do something about it
- Help us to see the feelings that are arising for us, which we might not normally notice
- Interrupt the thought cycles we get caught up in, that might be keeping us from being present or sleeping
- Help calm down and see what is in this moment
- Bring calm focus when we need to get some stuff done
These are just a few things you might see from meditation. Obviously, there’s much more to it. But it’s worth practising.
How to Form the Meditation Habit
If you don’t already have a meditation habit, don’t worry … it’s absolutely doable. If you’ve done it before but let it drop, again no need to worry … just let go of any guilt and start again.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Pick a time. Let’s say 7am each day. Actually, it’s best to pick something you already do every single day and tie the habit to that event — right when you wake up, for example, or right after you shower.
- Set a reminder. Put the reminder on your phone and calendar every day, so you don’t forget. Also, put a paper note somewhere you’ll see it. Forgetting to do the habit is very common in the beginning.
- Set a timer for 2 minutes. When you’re ready to meditate, pick a comfortable spot (a chair or sofa is fine), and set a timer for just 2 minutes to start with. Yes, that’s very short, but it’s a great way to start out a new habit — start very small, so it’s easier to stick to. You can increase it by a couple of minutes every 7 days, if you do well at sticking to it.
- Just pay attention to your breath. It’s a simple thing to put your attention on — turn your mind’s attention to the breath, and leave it there for the 2 minutes. When (not if) your mind wanders from the breath to thoughts … simply notice, and bring the mind back to the breath. Don’t worry about getting distracted, it happens to everyone. Just keep coming back to the breath.
- When the timer goes off, thank yourself. A little gratitude helps to stick to any habit. Thank yourself for making the effort, and notice what good this small practice has brought you.
It’s pretty simple, but you have to notice the benefits or you’ll put off the habit.