How to Meditate

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Do you meditate? I will be honest, it’s something I try and do but most days don’t. Even though I know the amazing benefits of meditation for my mind, body and stress levels, it can be tough to be still, quiet AND present for more than 30 seconds. Here’s a great article I found on three basic principals to keep in mind when learning how to meditate.

1. Have a straight spine.
When you first begin, you might find it easier to sit in a chair with a back support instead of sitting cross-legged on the floor. If you prefer to sit on the ground, using a block can help lift your hips above your knees and keep your back straight.

2. Have a relaxed breath.
Breathing in and out through your nose instead of your mouth. This can help relax your nervous system and keep your breaths calm and even.

3. Have a single-pointed focus.
During meditation try focusing on anything that makes you happy. You can focus on the energy centers between your eyebrows or in the middle of your chest, or you can focus on the beach, a vacation spot, the top of a mountain, or the swing you had when you were a kid. It doesn’t matter as long as your mind is on one point that gives you joy. You want that place to ground you.

If you find yourself becoming distracted, don’t worry. You’re going to be distracted, Acknowledge the distraction and then go back to your focal point. It’s a mental exercise; you’re building the muscle of focus.

The first time you meditate, start small. Begin with just one minute. Once you feel you’ve accomplished this, go for three minutes in your next session. Then increase to five or ten minutes. Experiment with what time of day works best for you. The mind has this magical way of working things out on its own.

Especially given all the scientifically proven benefits meditation provides, why not give meditation a chance. Put aside the judgment and the preconceived notions, and try to get through 60 seconds of meditation to see what effect it has on you… so many of us are hard on ourselves. Mediation helps you understand the mind so you can shift your focus and use it in a positive way.

If you want to give meditation a try, and are looking for some guidance, there are plenty of apps that can help.

Headspace (free for iPhone and Android) makes meditation simple, and guides you through 10-minute sessions, all led by the calm voice of Brit Andy Puddicombe. After 10 free trial meditations, you can choose to upgrade to a paid plan that will give you access to specialized and longer guided meditations.

Relax Melodies (free for iPhone and Android) offers a variety of sounds to ease you through different types of guided meditations.

Buddhify ($4.99 for iPhone, $2.99 for Android) lets you customize your meditation by choosing your current feeling or activity as a starting place. It also provides over 80 guided tracks.

*information from BB blog


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