Meditation is a way to train your mind, similar to how fitness is an approach to training your body. It can be a way to relax, deal with anxiety and even release you inner ~guru~ But you don’t have to splurge on a meditation coach or devote multiple hours to the practice. Sometimes all it takes is a couple minutes of thoughtful breathing techniques to calm the mind.
Practicing meditation might not be for everyone, but with tomorrow being Bell Let’s Talk Day, we wanted to ~talk~ about how to add a little more mindfulness into your everyday. Here’s the FORA-1-1 on how to be your own meditation guru.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
If you’re skeptical, consider meditation’s long list of health benefits, such as:
What you may first hear about meditation can seem like a bunch of flowery language and a lot of silly jargon. But despite what you’ve heard, meditation isn’t just for the ~free-spirited~ These benefits can be seen in anyone who practices.
There are two main kinds of meditation. The first is concentration meditation, which involves focusing on a single point to help improve your ability to concentrate. This could include following one’s breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame or even listening to a certain song on repeat.
In this form of meditation, you must refocus your awareness on your chosen entity of attention anytime you notice your mind wandering. Rather than pursuing random thoughts, you simply let them go. Since focusing the mind can be challenging, you may only be able to meditate for few minutes — but that’s okay! Even just a few moments of concentration can bring enhanced wellness to the mind.
The second is mindfulness meditation, which has you focus on your wandering thoughts as they go through your mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but to simply be aware of each mental note as it arises.
With mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns. Over time, you can become more aware of the tendency to quickly judge an experience as good or bad but with practicing meditation, an inner balance develops.
There are a wide variety of meditation disciplines, so choose what works best for YOU. Your meditation practice can include a combination of concentration and mindfulness or whatever techniques you like best in achieving full mind and body stillness.
EASY MEDITATION ROUTINE FOR BEGINNERS
If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve put together a simple meditation exercise that’s perfect for beginners!
- Sit on your knees or cross-legged. You might even want to lie down — just ensure you’re comfortable!
- Close your eyes. Be sure to keep them closed for the duration of your meditation.
- Breathe naturally; don’t try to control the pace or intensity.
- Focus your attention on your breath and on how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Follow the movement in your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly.
- If your mind starts to wander, return your focus back to your breath. Maintain this meditation practice for however long you wish.
- Open your eyes and give yourself a positive affirmation, whether that’s an “om” or your own personal mantra.
We all need to take the time to relax! Meditation, even in small doses, can be a great way to do so and to feel more in control of your mental well-being. Just remember your daily mantra ~FORA gurus~
And don’t forget to show your support for Bell Let’s Talk Day by sending a text message, making a mobile or long distance call using Bell Media products, tweeting with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk or sharing a Facebook video. Each time you do this, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives.
By: Brooklyn Neustaeter