The world is a busy place and we need to keep up with this hectic pace. Most of us lack sleep from working too hard in order to live the life we want. Some of us are constantly worrying that we are not working hard enough or doing enough to achieve our goals. We are discontent about the past and scared about our future. We forget to live in the present and appreciate each moment.
The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.— Sakyong Mipham
Every day we judge ourselves and disappoint ourselves because we have too many expectations. We distract ourselves from the difficulties of life by trying to do more. We crowd our daily schedules with so much. At the end of the day, we go to bed exhausted but still unable to alleviate our fears and worries. We have not even taken the time to be alone, to just be with ourselves.
What is Meditation?
Many successful people have learned the benefits of taking time out for themselves thru meditation. Each person does it their own way and may call it different things such as “me time”, “alone time”, “moment of silence”, “emptying your mind” or “calming your mind”. This time for yourself is called meditation. When you pray by yourself, softly whispering or silently, that too is a meditation.
Prayer is you speaking to God. Meditation is allowing the spirit to speak to you.— Deepak Chopra
Simply put, meditation is the practice of calming your mind. It’s not really emptying it but focusing your mind on something else other than thinking. It is putting your mind on a break from all your usual thoughts, fears and worries.
There are different types of meditation and meditation techniques that you can explore once you have learned the habit. They all start with calming your mind and relaxing your whole body so you can get in touch with your inner self. For now, practice how to give your mind and your self a break from your daily concerns thru meditation.
Prayer is asking for guidance. Meditation is listening to it.— Sonia Choquette
Meditation is one thing that can contribute to your overall wellness and success. Try to get a complete overview of your current level of wellness so you know which areas of wellness you need to work on.
Benefits of Meditation
There are many benefits to meditation including a calmer demeanor right after and even more energy; clearer thinking and improved concentration on tasks at hand. Long-term effects include improvement of overall health, better sleep, better communication and relationships and a more a positive outlook.
I meditate so that my mind cannot complicate my life.— Sri Chinmoy
Some people who have incorporated this practice into their daily routine include these celebrities:
- Self-made millionaire Tony Robbins – meditates 9-10 minutes
- Entrepreneur Arianna Huffington – meditates 20-30 minutes
- CEO of LinkedIn and former Yahoo executive Jeff Weiner – cuts out blocks of his daily schedule for meditation and thinking time
- Singer and entrepreneur Katy Perry – meditates sitting in bed for 20 minutes
- Actor Clint Eastwood – practicing Transcendental meditation for over 40 years now
If you search online, there are many more names to add to this list.
How to Start a Meditation Habit
Meditation is best done in the early morning or before going to bed. You need at least 10-15 minutes of time alone, in a silent place where you can focus on meditating. You may do this sitting on a chair or on the floor or lying down. Be as comfortable as you can.
Close your eyes, put your hands on your lap and breathe deeply, inhaling thru your nose and exhaling thru your mouth. Most of the time, we breathe shallowly, only engaging the upper part of our lungs. Breathe deeply, feeling the air go all the way down to your diaphragm. Breathe slowly, focusing on your inhales and exhales. If thoughts come, just go back to focusing your attention on your breathing. This is all you need to do for 10-15 minutes.
Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobstrusively.— Sharon Salzberg
If you are doing this in an office setting, you can use headphones to reduce background noise, then play relaxing music to help calm you down. There are many meditation music available online. There are also guided meditation music to make it easier for you to meditate.
As much as possible, use music that has no lyrics as the words will just add to your thought process. Instrumental, acoustic and nature sounds are most recommended.
Do your best NOT to follow a thought for long. If you get distracted by a thought that pops up, go right back to focusing on your breathing. You may feel you have failed the first time because you did not feel as calm as you expected but just practice again the next day until you get to a calm state.
If we read the stories of the great spiritual teachers of the past, we find that they have attained spiritual realization through a great deal of meditation, solitude and practice. They did not take shortcuts.— Rajiv Mehrotra
You may exceed the 15 minutes but that is also alright. Some people who meditate regularly do this for up to an hour a day. Others do this several times a day in 10-15 minute blocks.
Some people may find it so relaxing and end up falling asleep especially when meditating while lying down. This is alright too since you are trying to calm yourself anyway. You can just try to do it again the next day without falling asleep. A timer would help too so you don’t go over your break time at work.
Once you have integrated a meditation practice in your daily routine; you can decide to devote more time to it than just 15 minutes a day. Doing it twice a day or doing it several times throughout the day may be more effective for you. If you feel that you have too many things going in on your mind and you need to clear out the confusion, then take the time to meditate.
Start taking baby steps to creating a meditation practice in your daily life. Do tell us about your experience the first time you meditated or give us more tips to improve our meditation practice if you are doing this already.