The reasons to meditate are many, however it can be difficult to know how and where to begin. In this blog, I will explain my top 5 reasons to meditate and tips on how to start.
SO.. why should I meditate?
There are so many benefits of meditation, both for the body and the mind. Here are my top 5:
- Relaxation: our busy and fast lives can create a lot of tension, both physical and mental. Meditation helps us stay grounded and release build up of tension accumulated in the body and mind.
- Pain Reduction: it has been proven that Meditation can be a great tool to reduce pain, especially chronic pain, which can be extremely draining. Pain can lessen and it can also increase our brain’s tollerance to it.
- Stress Relief: there are many studies to support that Meditation can aid stress relief. In our society, stress often becomes chronic and reducing chronic stress can improve overall wellbeing.
- Better Sleep: sleep is essential for cognitive function and meditation can really help to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It improves sleep quality and making you wake up feeling refreshed. It is great for those struggling with chronic insomnia.
- Improved focus: meditation is a form of attention, it can be attention to the breath, to an intention or even focusing our gaze on an object. Improving attention will in turn improve our capacity to stay focused for longer.
These are my top 5 reasons to meditate, but how do you start?
How to start meditating
- Set a time: some people like to meditate first thing in the morning, other prefer to meditate before sleep. But there is no rule, you can meditate at any time you like, just pick a time that you can be consistent with. It does not have to be long, 5 to 10 minutes is enough to start. I recommend using a timer. Insight Timer is a great free tool, that you can use both as a timer or to practice guided meditations and yoga classes.
- Find a space: it is nice to find a space to return to every time you meditate. This way your brain will associate this space with your daily meditation, making it more comfortable each time. If you can, find a quite space, where you will not be disturbed.
- Find a comfortable position: you don’t have to sit cross-legged! You can sit on a chair or even lie down. Just make sure you can stay awake and that you are comfortable and relaxed.
- Find something to focus on: you can focus on your breath to begin with and follow your inhales and exhales, or you can scan your body from the top down or from the feet up. If you don’t feel meditating without guidance is for you, you can find many guided meditations online. You can try this one to start.
- Close your meditation with kindness: when you are ready to finish, make sure you do so gently and kindly. Blink your eyes slowly open and take a moment to take the invironment back in, notice sounds and objects and begin to gently move your body.
A free playlist
If you would like to enhance your meditation practice, I recommend practicing meditation after a Yin Yoga class. If you don’t know what Yin Yoga is, here is a blog for you.