Meditation has recently become the new buzz word on social media. You may be familiar to the discipline or you may be a complete beginner - wherever you are with it - that's OK. Taking a few moments out of our busy day to sit and be present can do wonders for your health. It reduce stress levels, it can re-generate new neurons in the brain and improves concentration and over all sense of well being. Try using these simple tips to help re-connect to yourself and re-align to your true nature.
Set aside at least ten minutes of your day to just breath. I find the morning works best for me but you might find the evening suits you better. Start off my closing down your eyes, be still and reconnect to your breath. As you begin to settle take some time to notice the sounds around you, the temperature of the room, the sound of the birds singing, the cars in the background, people laughing. And as you begin to get comfortable you might notice your thoughts coming and going like waves. In essence each thought lasts around 90 seconds before dissipating. Just get comfortable with the flow and allow the thoughts to come without getting attached to them.
Sounds easier than it is I know. I struggled for years, but trust me - it gets easier! I remember i would sit and close my eyes however my mind would continue to race. Thinking about my to do list, what meal i was yet to demolish, the people i needed to see, the places i needed to be. Our minds play havoc at the best of times and are constantly chattering away & playing tricks on us whether we realise it or not.
With meditation we are trying to slow down brain waves to create an alpha state. Which is typically the same brain frequency as just before we fall asleep. It normally takes 45 seconds to create an alpha state or feeling which is typically the same length of time as four deep inhalations and exhalations also lasting to a count of four.
Try this and repeat as many times as you need. You’ll begin to feel a lot calmer and you’ll be a pro in no time I promise!
The 4 aspects of mindfulness
Step 1 - Monitoring mindfulness by focusing on what is happening in the NOW. Listen for any sounds & thoughts that keep cropping up without judgement. Just be aware of what is showing up for you in the moment. Try not to control the thoughts. Let them pass.
Step 2 - Protective awareness – this relates to doing the right thing inside and outside of you by increasing your positive outlook on life. What things are you grateful for? Focus on these instead of focusing your attention on the things that aren't working for you. Always look at the bright side of Life!
Step 3 - Compassionate awareness how to protect yourself and all others around you from harm. Not just people this includes animals, plants the earth etc... it means becoming more attentive to all things around you. Being kinder to yourself and others.
Step 4 - Bare awareness how to become aware of what you see, hear and think. Tune into the space and any background noise. With time you will be able to watch your thoughts and release any of the unpleasant thoughts that might be holding on to. Think of your brain as a muscle. With practice you will begin to train your brain towards the more positive aspect of your life.