Written By: Lorenza Gil-Kabande
What is meditation and how do you do it? I know what you’re thinking… isn’t that the “ommmm” thing gurus do? It can be, but, meditation is all about perspective and awareness of your mind and body. I know it still sounds like meditation is time-consuming and unachievable but it’s actually fairly simple. There are so many different ways to meditate and everyone has different preferences on how they meditate, where, and when.
Why meditate? I used to get stressed out fairly easily and didn’t know how to calm myself down. I would eventually end up crashing from all the stress. It felt as though all my responsibilities were holding me back from enjoying my work-day. That is until I discovered that meditation was the key to being able to destress myself. Even if you’re the type of person who stays cool amidst the chaos, meditation helps improve your sleep, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your aura, makes you happier, and much more. Even a 15-minute meditation session is enough for you to feel the difference! The biggest challenge I faced when I first started to meditate, is that it’s so simple that I found it complicated to do.
What did you find so hard about it? Despite there being many different ways and methods to meditate, the end-goal is to rest your mind and focus on your senses. The misconception of having to clear your mind was holding me back from practicing meditation, because I didn’t think I could do it. Like many others, I’m the type of person that has a lot of things to do and there’s a lot on my mind all the time. The trick I picked up when learning to meditate is to focus on your body and your surroundings and talk yourself through it. Some questions you can ask yourself are: “How does your hand feel on your leg?” or “Do you feel your chest expanding and contracting as you breathe?” While easing your mind may be easy for some, I found it hard to rest my mind and simply focus on my body and surroundings. Because of this struggle, I found another form of meditation that better suits how my mind works.
What is the best meditation method for stress? I oftentimes practice Mindfulness Meditation when I’m starting to feel the pressure of my responsibilities. I prefer this exercise when I’m stressed because rather than letting my thoughts control my emotions, this practice allows me to simply observe those thoughts and organize them. The best part is that it can be implemented anywhere, even at work. I start by finding a quiet space where I won’t be disrupted in the office. If there is no such spot where you are, simply putting peaceful music and getting comfortable at your desk does the trick. Next, I close my eyes and focus on my breathing. You may start to wander off in your thoughts and that’s okay! Just don’t let them stress you out more; simply be aware of them and try to focus back on your breathing. It may take some practice to get the hang of it but don’t give up- you’ll start to feel the benefits of meditating once you get it down.
Meditation is highly underrated because it’s tied to the misconception that it’s difficult, or takes too much time. There are so many different types of meditation and techniques you can try to relax your mind. Find the technique that works best for your body, and get in the habit of practicing it.