Sleep. Work. Hussle. Socialise. Sleep. Repeat. All good – but sometimes it can be ‘stop the world, I want to get off!’ Could meditation be the way to achieve calm amidst the storm of modern life?
The dictionary (remember those?) defines meditation as ‘the exercise of the mind in contemplation’. Whatever you are contemplating, meditation gives a set of tools to focus attention and be more aware.
Meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand. Mindfulness is really the art of ‘noticing what is going on’. In our overloaded environment, we could all do with more of that.
Many gyms offer meditation sessions as part of your Hussle pass. Meantime here is one way to begin unguided meditation. Make yourself comfortable in a good chair, or sitting on the floor if you prefer.
Concentrate on you and you alone. Focus on relaxed breathing; a breath ball app is a good way to do this. (Turn off all other alerts on your phone!) Keep your mind calm and clear. ‘Scan’ down your body, making yourself aware of all your position and feelings.
Meditation only needs a few minutes to begin with.
If you're new to it all and haven't a clue where to start, check out one of the apps for meditation, such as Headspace.
A scientific study of 54 adults showed that mindfulness-based meditation really did improve insomnia. It also improved quality of sleep as well as sleep time.
Meditation reduces stress, which has all sorts of physical and mental health benefits. It has also been shown to reduce overeating. That’s not because people spend hours meditating, but because they are no longer eating as a stress-buster or mood lifter.
A bit of ‘me time’ in peace can also give you a chance to get thoughts in order. That’s a great way to set priorities. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say.
Taking some time out to stop, be aware and be calm can make all the difference. Give meditation a try.
Another fan of apps here, though I would recommend Insight meditation which is free and just as good. Mindfulness is a definite stress reliever and seems to slow everything down.
I used the Headspace app last year and it starts you on just 10 minutes mindfulness a day. The reviews are amazing so you gotta be daft not to at least try it.
The best thing to do is learn mindfulness and then try as best you can to incorporate it into your everyday life so you are doing it when you do things like washing up and having a shower. So it takes no more time but has the same effect.
I tend to be very cynical about this kind of thing; but as the stuff to do piles up maybe it is time for a rethink. So I will give it a go!
I tend to meditate in bursts every few months when things get stressful, It definitely helps in the short-term but doesn't make stress 'go away', just makes me more aware of my reaction to stress so I can control myself better.