Meditation – A Tool for Mental Wellness
“One does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up, and live, to become skilled at the art of living.” ~ Elizabeth Lesser
Meditation is no longer considered a practice solely reserved for monks on mountain tops. Scientific studies and brain imaging over the last decade have shown that meditating actually changes your brain, and with it, the way your body responds to stress.
With an estimated one in five people in the workforce experiencing some degree of a mental health issue, (Mental Health Experience in Canada’s Workplace, 2017), meditation is now considered a therapeutic tool for dealing with anxiety, depression, and pain. Workplace stress is a top cause of mental health problems and illnesses. A regular meditation practice creates a relaxed state, which lowers the physical and emotional consequences of stress.
Meditation is an easy to use tool that helps put you in control of your mental health.
If you’ve never meditated before, I invite you to start with just two to three minutes of mindful breathing.
Sitting in stillness, without your phone, is going to feel like an eternity at first.
As you get used to concentrating on your breath you can increase your time. The point of focusing on your breath is that every time you bring your attention back to your breath, you work your attention muscles. Over time your focus, concentration, and attention span will improve.
In addition, you will receive other benefits of meditation which include: reducing stress, lowering your blood pressure, decreasing your sensitivity to pain, strengthening your intuition, increasing creativity, and boots to your self-esteem and confidence, to list just a few.
How Do You Meditate for the First Time?
- Set a timer so you don’t have to keep checking your watch!
- Sit comfortably. This is important so move around until you feel at ease.
- Your legs can be folded or extended with your feet flat on the floor.
- Rest your hands softly in your lap. Sit with your spine tall and relaxed.
- Close your eyes and begin to turn your attention inwards.
- Take a couple deep breaths in and exhale completely. Feel your body soften and relax with each breath.
- Then let your breath fall into its natural rhythm.
- Now bring your attention to your breath as it enters your body through your nostrils. Notice now the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice your breath as it leaves the body through the nose.
- When your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath again and again until your timer sounds.
This is meditation.
Here are five quick tips to help you get started.
1. Start Small
Begin with just a couple of minutes of mindful breathing every day. You don’t train for a marathon race by running out at full speed from the couch. Small steps will move you towards your goal and won’t overwhelm you.
2. Schedule It
Set the intention to meditate daily. Putting it on your calendar or setting a reminder on your phone helps you make your practice a priority.
3. Link to Another Habit
By linking a new habit to an existing one you increase your chances of success. Take a look at your day and explore where meditation might fit best with your routines. Can you meditate in the morning after using the bathroom or before you open your laptop? Will it work best at night after you brush your teeth? Explore.
4. Find Sacred Space
Claim a spot in your home or office where you won’t be disturbed. Make it special by adding a cushion, blanket, candles or photos-anything that makes the space sacred for you.
5. Seek Support
Share your goal to meditate with people who will support you. When we declare our intentions we are making a vibrational commitment to follow through.
Don’t give up! Any new habit is hard to start. With small steps and a consistent practice, you will reap all the meditations meditation has to offer!
If you need additional help a meditation coach can help! Book a call with me and I’ll share how I can support you not only in meditation but also with your life and business goals.
With love + light,