Meditation: A Means to Inner Peace
We live in a world filled with stress. Daily life can be a roller coaster ride. Trying to find the time to step off that ride and relax can seem like an insurmountable task, but taking the time to do just that can be healing and provide inner peace. If you’re a harried person looking for inner peace, then meditation may help you find it!
Choosing to begin a daily meditation practice can be life changing. Here are a few simple notes for beginners:
Make a plan to meditate by dedicating yourself to the practice (Try not to be literal. Instead, be flexible.). Pick days, times and locations. For example, on Monday you could choose to meditate on your train ride home. On Tuesday, meditate after breakfast before leaving for work. On Wednesday, meditate before going to bed, etc. No matter what your plan is, make sure it works for you and not against you.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time meditating. In fact, when you’re just starting your practice it would be a good idea to commit to 3 to 5 minutes a day during your firs few weeks of practice. You can add more time to your meditation practice once you’ve been doing it for a while.
Be gentle on yourself. Meditation is a practice and like anything new you try, chances are you aren’t going to be perfect at it starting out. But the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Be patient.
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to talk about how to meditate:
1. Choose a comfortable place to relax without interruption. Consider your couch, your favorite chair, your bed or outside, under a tree.
2. Some people like to listen to music while they meditate. You can listen to instrumental music, or nature sounds if you prefer. Whatever music you choose, just make sure that it has no lyrics. Other music choices include music created specifically for meditation, classical music or Native American fluting. Be sure to use a good pair of headphones that block out distracting noises like traffic or people talking.
3. Choose a relaxing position. You can sit with your legs folded, but you can also lie down on your back, your tummy or lean back in a chair. There are also several meditation aids, like cushions and benches that can make you more comfortable.
4. Set a timer. Remember, meditate for 3 to 5 minutes during the first few weeks.
5. Close your eyes and keep them closed until the end of your session.
6. Focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths in and let them out. Thoughts may pop into you head. That’s expected in the first few weeks of a new meditation practice. Continue to breathe and focus.
7. When the timer goes of, smile. Stretch you body. Take pride in the fact that your did something healthy for yourself. Take a moment to be grateful for this opportunity.
8. Repeat this meditation routine every day until 3 to 5 minutes feels like not enough time. Work towards building a 20-minute, daily meditation.
Beginning a daily meditation routine with these notes in mind can be one of the most valuable gifts you give to yourself. According to the Mayo Clinic, taking a small amount of time to meditate can calm you down and restore your inner peace. And a moment of inner peace can help you combat the effects of a hectic life.