Meditation is learning to give your attention to the present rather than thoughts of the past or the future. It makes you feel less stressed because thinking about the past and future is often negative. You might know them better as ruminating and worrying. Neither of these ways of thinking are helpful for our stress levels. So, as you think less about the future or the past, you feel less stressed.
Meditation also has many other benefits like:
Managing your emotions
Control over Anxiety
Improved awareness, and concentration
Improvement of cognitive skills
Meditation is not for me
Many people think meditation is not for them and these are some of the reason I hear from clients and people I meet.
It is religious.
Meditation has its origins in religion and has been around since 1500BC. However, you do not need to have any religious leanings to meditate. As long as you have an open mind, meditation is accessible to you.
I cannot sit with my legs crossed.
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. You also don’t need a candle, a bell to ring or to say Om over and over again!
There are a couple of things you do need to meditate:
· Somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down.
· A peaceful place with no interruptions
I cannot stop thinking
This was a misunderstanding about meditation I used to have too. Meditation is not about stopping thinking. It is about training the mind to move its attention from the thoughts to the breath and the body. If you didn’t have any thoughts, you would not be able to meditate.
This process does take practice but with time, you will notice that it becomes easier. The mind is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets. You might find an APP like Headspace helps to start with or you can find guided meditations on YouTube.
I am too busy
The most important thing about meditation is to do it often and make it into a habit. The amount of time you spend on each occasion is not as important. You can do as little as 5 minutes daily and still feel an effect over time. You also gain time by meditating. Meditation makes your thinking clearer and helps you be more focused. I even get the solution to problems whilst meditating.
It’s not working/ I can’t do it
There are effects on the brain from the first time you meditate. Most people notice feeling less stressed straight away. However, it can take time to notice changes across your life. Be patient. You may not be aware of those deeper changes until you have been practising for a while.
Don’t go in with a predetermined idea about what meditation should look or feel like. Let go and trust you are doing it right. The more you practise the more you will find the voice, saying you are doing it wrong or it’s not working, will reduce. Enjoy your meditation time and see it as a part of looking after yourself.
How meditation helps me feel less stressed
I suffered a nervous breakdown in March 2015 and a period of severe depression. Mediation is one of the habits which ensure I don’t go down that path again. I am less stressed because, although I still have lots of thoughts, I am more in control of them. They are also more positive and tend not to interrupt my day at the rate at which they used to.
Please try mediation today. Take 5 minutes to look after your mind and start to feel less stressed.
Click here to experience a breath meditation which takes 6 minutes! Give it a try and let me know what you think.
(Yes! You can find 6 minutes!!)
If you would like to learn more about meditation and other tools to feel less stressed, please get in touch.