Unless you've slept under a rock these last few years, I'm sure you've heard about meditation. Yes, this practice when you are supposed to sit still for twenty minutes in your yoga pants (or not) and try not to notice the monkey chatter in your head. I know, it sounds difficult. But trust me, it's worth it. So get comfortable and read on.
When we meditate, we naturally lower our stress and improve focus. Most importantly, we are mindful about our breathing, often underestimated, yet very important for our overall health. Benefits of meditation are supported by science, with many studies confirming that meditation reduces stress, lowers anxiety, lowers inflammation, helps increase the strength and endurance of our attention, helps control pain and much more. [source]
Don't get discouraged after first unfruitful attempts. As with most of the things in life, you become a pro with practice. Follow these simple steps and let me know how it went in the comments.
1. Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you. In can be a bedroom or a comfortable place in your garden. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Follow your breath for a few minutes. Where do you feel your breath most? In your belly? In your nose? Try to keep your attention on your inhale and exhale. 2. Notice your body. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, or directly on the floor with your legs crossed. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out. Inevitably, your mind goes wandering. Don’t judge yourself, just come back. Sit in this position for twenty minutes (you can set a timer).
3. When you’re ready, open your eyes. Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.
Consistent meditation practice
In our fast paced world, meditation might be the last thing to put on your list. But please do so. Set reminders. Install a meditation app (find the link to the list of best meditation apps of 2019 below). Some people, me included, do better with guided meditation. There are numerous free guided meditations on the web so there's really no excuse. You think time's the issue? Nope. When we want more time, we make more time. Maybe you can wake up earlier? Or download that next episode of your favorite series and watch it later? Believe me, meditating is worth it!
Other mindful techniques: Forest bathing