Have you ever tried to meditate? Maybe in a yoga class or listening to a YouTube video? For many of us, meditating does not seem to go well. We feel like we are too distracted, or can’t hold still long enough. Well fear not. Here are some tips and tricks for the beginning meditation practitioner and a variety of meditations to try so you can find the meditations that work best for you!
What is All the Fuss about Meditation?
To begin with, you may be surprised to know that there is scientific evidence outlining the benefits of meditation.
Health Direct lists the following benefits from meditation:
- helps manage health conditions including:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- decrease sleep problems
- manage stress better
- increase self-awareness
- cultivate the ability to focus on the present moment
Advice from the Chopra Center
The Chopra center has 3 easy to digest pieces of advice.
1) Meditate at the right moment
Meditate in the morning, before all your busy thoughts begin to creep in. Instead of the morning, consider meditating when your brain craves “mental silence,” a time you are ready to have a break from thinking in the middle or end of the day.
2) Use background noise to your advantage
Allow the noise to be a part of your meditation practice. Allow yourself to just notice the noise during your practice and try not to think of it as a barrier to your practice.
3) Take time to not think
Practice not thinking at times; not just the times set aside for meditation. Any time you are waiting for something to download on your phone, for example, is a fine time to just try not to think. Be careful not to drift into mindlessness; an example of mindlessness is when you are driving and realize you have driven for some time but do not remember doing it. It is an active not thinking, rather than a passive not thinking.
I like much of the advice here, but it stresses the idea of not thinking. While most meditation involves stopping that “monkey” brain (self-talk and thinking about all the things you have to do), successful meditation should not be judged by not thinking, but rather just trying to go back to the meditation when you drift away and being happy with how you did.
Continue reading and learn several different types of meditation to try.
Advice from Gaiam
Gaiam gives a list of types of meditations that work well for beginners:
1) Concentration Meditation – trying to focus on something. It can be your breath, music, the way your body feels, looking at a flame, repeating a positive phrase (e.g., “I am happy”).
2) Mindfulness Meditation – allowing yourself to have thoughts to naturally pop-up and trying not to react, judge, or further think about any thought you have.
3) Moving Meditation (Tai Chi, Qigong, and Walking Meditations) – walking meditation could be taking a walk and really focusing on how the body feels, thinking about your breath, and noticing the environment around you. You can also do a Concentration Meditation while walking, such as thinking about “peace,” and allowing yourself to have any thoughts about the subject that happen.
The Meditation Gaiam suggests for beginners is to sit or lie down, with eyes closed. Breathe naturally. Notice the breath, how your body moves (especially the stomach, ribs, and chest), and focus on the general sensations in the body. Try for 2-3 minutes, and do longer meditations over time.
How HSG can Help your Business Improve Focus and Concentration
We offer meditation classes and mindfulness workshops. We also offer yoga for your staff, which lets a person strengthen and stretch their body and end with a short meditation. Tai Chi and Qigong workplace classes are also available. Many people find it easier to meditate during or after physical movement, because the mind may be more quiet making yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong practical methods for staff to practice boosting mental clarity during the workday.
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