5 easy everyday ways to practice meditation
Don’t let the idea of meditating stress you out even more! We will show you five easy ways you can use meditation in your everyday life to reduce your stress and feel more balanced.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. There are special meditation classes, there are teachers who specialize in teaching and practicing meditation but these are not necessary for you to begin. You can just as easily meditate on your own.
Your meditation can be formal or informal, every day or once a week. It is completely up to you. Meditation can be flexible to work around your lifestyle and time commitments. Quality meditation can be completed in as little as five minutes leaving you feeling refreshed. Meditation is about focus. Here are five easy ways to get you started and keep you going on your meditation journey.
- Breathe Deeply
A perfect way for beginners to start off – breathing is something we all do every day. It’s natural, and won’t feel like you are doing something difficult. When we stress out we shallow breathe but focusing on the breath will start you off. While you are breathing close your eyes. Focus on the breath on the inhale and focus on the breath on the exhale. How does it sound? How does it feel? Breathe through your nostrils not your mouth and breathe slowly and deeply. If your attention wanders, or you can’t stop thinking you have to get the kids in five minutes don’t worry. Focus on the breath takes practice and you should be gentle on yourself. You will get better and just remember the breath.
- Scan your body
As you practice your breathing, scan your body. Start at the crown of your head and work your way down. Where do you feel tension or pain? Heat or other sensations? These can be related to stress and you should focus on reducing your tension in that body area. For example, if your neck feels tense then as you are breathing deeply focus on your neck, imagine breathing out the stress and the muscles slowly unclenching. When the muscles are relaxed, move on to the next area of tension. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t get past your face on the first day – you are going to improve and start feeling better every time you practice.
- Repeat a mantra
This can be one you have created on your own or can be a more traditional mantra. It helps us to focus our mind and stop it wandering during our meditation. Some examples of religious meditation are the Jesus Prayer (Christian) the Holy Name Of God (Judaism) the Om mantra (Hinduism or Buddhism)
Take a few moments to reflect on your day. Do not judge yourself or others, simply reflect on the occurrences and let the stress leave you. You may find keeping your reflections in a journal helps you focus and gives you an opportunity at a later date to see where your reflections take you and what your focus has a tendency to be on. You may like to listen to sacred music while you reflect, or natural sounds or perhaps complete quiet is best for you to focus on your day.
- Focus your love and gratitude
This may sound a little over the top, but focusing on what you have and what you are grateful for in your life can help reduce your stress. You may find the behaviour of your children has driven you crazy all day, but if you sit and reflect you will realize that you are actually grateful for them in your life and that you do love them. All mom’s will sympathize with tantrums and frustrating behaviour – you aren’t alone! You may like to look at an image of what you are grateful for, or you may find this works best if you close your eyes and picture it in your mind’s eye.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are your meditation skills. You will find that your skills improve the longer you practice meditation for. (Over time, not to sit for an hour your first attempt and berate yourself for failure) You will eventually find a style of meditation that suits you whether it be individual, in a class or you start up a mothers group and include meditation for mom’s. Find what works and start practicing today! You will be calmer and more focussed and feel better overall.