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NEED SOME HEADSPACE? HOW TO START MEDITATING LIKE A PRO

Oct 19, 2018
Getting into meditation isn’t easy…we get it! Even just committing to 5 minutes of sitting still and doing nothing can feel like a challenge at times, let alone getting into the habit of dedicate this time of ‘doing nothing’ daily. With all the distractions and hectic schedules we live with today, it’s no wonder people are turning to more holistic ways to help us slow down and do something that is going to not only give you a mental break but also put you in a better position to tackle your busy lifestyle more efficiently and in a more mindful manner.
 
Experts have told us that mediation is one of the best things we can do for our overall health (and sanity!) so creating a new habit and incorporating it into your daily routine really is a game-changer that can result in massive improvements for your mind, soul and body. We decided to check it out and see what all the mediation hype is about and if you’re already on the mediation train, you’ll agree with us when we say that there is a hype for good reason and that the power mediation can have on your day to day life is real!
 
Keen to get involved and see what it’s all about? Here are some simple steps to help you get started:
 
Step 1- start by keeping it short
 
Before you begin, decide how long you are going to mediate for and set a timer (unless you are using an app which will be a set duration) so that you can fully relax into it. Don’t stress about how long you have, anything is better than nothing when it comes to mediation, the most important thing is consistency. Start with just 2 minutes a day for a week if that works for you, then keep increasing it by 2 minutes every week if you can. If it goes well, keep increasing until you get up to 10 minutes a day which is amazing!
 
Step 2 – set a clear intention and eliminate excuses
 
To help make the most out of your mediation practice, it’s helpful to start by setting a clear intention for yourself. Do you really want to commit to this moment and allow yourself to go all in with it? The answer should be a hell yes! The more committed you are to it, the more you will experience the benefits.
 
Put the phone down, go to the loo if you need, close the door…remove yourself from distractions and excuses to ensure you don’t stop part way through. This is especially important at the beginning of your journey as you may find yourself easy distracted by things around you.
 
Step 3 – get in position and check-in with yourself
 
Get yourself in a comfortable seated position, either on a chair or with your legs crossed on the floor. Place your hands on your lap with your palms facing upwards and sit up straight. To lengthen your spine, inhale and roll your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale and roll them back and down. Every time you feel you are slumping forward during this practice, re-do this inhale, exhale, shoulder roll.
 
Before you settle into your meditation session, simply do a quick check-in with yourself to see and take note of how you’re feeling. How is your body feeling? How are you doing in your mind? Stressed? Tired? Anxious? Calm? Notice this and see whatever you are bringing to this session as completely okay.
Now close your eyes and let the magic begin…
 
Step 4 – maintain a slow breath and follow that rhythm
 
The simple act of following your inhale and exhale breaths throughout your meditation is crucial to clearing your mind and helps give you something to focus on. For meditation, nasal breathing works best making it easier for you to follow a smooth, even pace. Begin with a few deep belly breaths and then allow yourself to fall into a steady rhythm of breathing in, and then out.
 
Focus on the sensation of the air entering and exiting your nose, and when you notice your awareness has drifted (which you will often!), gently guide your mind back to the breath.
 
Step 5 – let your thoughts come to you and observe them without judgement
 
Despite what lots of people may think, the practice of meditation isn’t about stopping your thoughts and clearing your mind, it is about noticing your thoughts and getting to know your mind. Observe the thought’s that come up, but observe them from a loving and non-judgemental place. The difference between observing and judging is the attachment of meaning. Don’t try to understand the why, where or how, simply observe them, let them flow through and avoid reacting to them.
 
When you notice that you’ve gotten lost and started thinking about your to-do list or any other thought that pops up and takes you off track, simply re-focus back to the awareness of the breath and start over.
 
And finally…
 
Step 6 – be patient! Give it time
 
Develop a loving attitude and be a friend to your thoughts. Know that if you are struggling to reach a place where you can just observe your thoughts and allow them flow through you, you are not doing it wrong and that there is no perfect way to meditate. Instead, give yourself a pat on the back that you are making this time to meditate.
 
Be patient with your practice and don’t expect to be a pro at first, that’s why it’s called a ‘practice’. And know that you will find some days easier than others. But if you commit to meditation regularly, you will get better over time and reap the many benefits before you know it!
 
Want some more mindfulness in your life? Sign up and give our 4 week Champion Me series a go which will have you taking 15 minutes of your day, everyday to focus on you? And for some more mindfulness reading, take a look at these posts.

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