Go on! Get it out of the way now.
This is a safe space to roll your eyes and let out a “Is she serious?”.
Now, I’m not an expert on meditation. I am not a guru. I am not a wellness coach. However I do like meditating and I try and sit still for 10 minutes every day to focus on my breathing and intentions. Why? To become mindful, not mindless. I find meditation cuts through the day-to-day fog and delivers clarity. It forces you to be in the present moment instead of worrying about deadlines, dinner and dingbats.
A 10 minute pause in your day can work WONDERS! Have you ever tried it?
Loads of people say they’ve tried meditation and can’t stop thinking. Or they’re too busy. Or it’s pointless. Yeah, I use to think like that too … until a year ago. I was overworked, constantly on call and feeling so stressed I wanted to stab people with paperclips. I found that taking a 5 minute break from my computer wasn’t working, nor was taking a walk during my lunch break.
I wanted access to calming music and stumbled across an app called CALM. It teaches you AND guides you to meditate in 7 very easy steps with a huge array of background music to choose from. You can select a 2 minute calm session or a 20 minute calm session. Or you can select from one of the many sessions available relating to anxiety, compassion, confidence, creativity, energy, forgiveness, gratitude …. the list goes on and on. I’ve meditated on my yoga mat, lying in bed (it has sleep mode), on the bus and on a park bench. It’s just finding the space and time that works best for you in that present moment.
Here are my tips for a quick 10 minute sess!
Got a spare 10 minutes? Perfect. Acknowledge that now is a good time to take a pause in your day.
Find a comfortable position and a calming space. I often meditate sitting upright but some people like to lie down. Close your eyes and relax your back and shoulders as best you can.
Notice the contact your body has to the chair or to the ground. Notice the weight of your body. Feel the tingles and sensations as your body relaxes with each breath in and each breath out.
Scan your body and mentally note any place where you have tension. Then, starting at your toes, gradually focus on relaxing your feet, calves, thighs, stomach, upper chest, hands, arms, throat, neck, mouth, eyes and head. Each breath helping to relax the muscles.
Bring awareness to you breath. It’s as simply as breathing in and breathing out. Think ‘in’ when you breathe in and expand your chest. Think ‘out’ when you exhale. Acknowledge those tiny short pauses in between taking a breath in and exhaling the breath out. (Those super soft pauses are my favourite!).
If you catch your mind wandering, that is totally normal. Just acknowledge the thought and bring your focus back to your breath. Those nanoseconds of just focusing on your breathing and nothing else will extend into seconds and minutes with each session you complete. Just be patient with yourself darling.
Set yourself the challenge to practice a 10 minute meditation for a week. Note any changes or benefits. You can practice anytime, anywhere. OK. Maybe you can’t practice if you’re performing brain surgery, but you get my drift.
If you’ve never tried meditating and are intrigued, give the CALM app a go. It’s FREE to download and perfect for those wanting to expand and experience a little more awareness in life.
Do you meditate? Have you tried it before? I’d love to hear your experience with it.