Meditation is discussed everywhere, and for good reason – it works! But how many of us practice it daily in our lives? With so much happening recently, from Black Lives Matter protests to the lockdown rules changing, spending time alone with your thoughts can seem absurd. But meditation is incredibly empowering; it can help you stay calm and focused; it can allow you to process life’s difficulties. The benefits are truly endless.
If you’ve never tried meditation or you keep putting off your next practice, all it takes is one 10-minute session to gain some insight. There’s never a better time to start than now. Check out my guided meditation video to try for yourself and see how you can benefit from this simple yet highly effective tool.
The power of your breath:
Breathing is automatic, but when you start meditating you become more aware of the process and this awareness is your guide. Breathing only through your nose helps your body take fuller, deeper breaths, stimulating the lower lungs to distribute greater amounts of oxygen. The process has a drastically calming effect.
Your monkey mind:
The monkey mind explains the restless and unsettled environment of your mind. Attention swings from one thought to the next, much like a monkey swings on trees. When you sit still with your thoughts, they can be completely random or whimsical. Your mind jumps from one thought the next, often projecting your past into your future and this is completely normal.
You don’t have control over the way that your mind moves, this is part of its nature. But you can learn to be at ease with these thoughts and give them the right attention. We do this by resisting distractions and learning patience. When you catch yourself daydreaming and having those monkey mind thoughts – focus your attention back to your breath.
Learning to accept that your thoughts will rise but they will pass is a constant journey. During this process you stop letting those thoughts control you. You start to live in the moment. You find a deep and clear awareness of your mind and body and this awareness increases a sense of connection to yourself and others around you. You stop being consumed by those thoughts you try so hard to avoid. What could be better?
Call it meditation, quiet time, self-reflection or boredom, whatever you call it, encourage moments where you sit still with your thoughts.
Having some time where you disconnect has never been so important. In the age of instant connectivity, we’re overwhelmed with information. Making the time to sit back, reflect and befriend your monkey mind will help you get to know your true self and figure things out.
Your brain is an amazingly powerful tool that you should get to know. Your thoughts are free, let them wonder. Above all, be kind and patient with yourself, in these challenging times you deserve it.