The question (and often expectation) ‘Do you meditate?’, seems to come up in so many conversations these days. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, yoga devotee, or couch lover, meditation is a hot topic. We often hear and see videos of celebrities around the world sharing their experiences and advocating the benefits of meditation. From world renowned superstars like Madonna, to pop princess Katy Perry, and Kelly Rowland, everyone seems to be into meditation. So is meditation all it’s cracked up to be?
In a world where we are constantly stimulated, always on the run, experiencing overthinking, stress and anxiety, being able to really switch off sounds like a dream. However, truly switching off can be a life-changer. All the benefits of meditation lie in being able to switch off, and really experience being in the present, where the mind does nothing but explore the now. Oprah Winfrey often shares her love of meditation, and the benefits she experiences, with her fans. She said learning how to meditate was one of the ‘most life-enhancing things’ she ever did, in one of her Super Soul Conversations with Amy Schumer. For her, it works.
So how could meditation begin to help you now?
The greatest benefit of beginning a meditation practice is purely in giving yourself the time for you. The time to relax, release, reduce stress, let go of anxiety or worry, and feel a deep sense of inner calm and peace.
Whether I am working with clients who want to find the right romantic soulmate, build their business, earn more money or find more fulfilment from life, I always bring meditation practice into sessions. Bringing meditation into practice allows an individual the space to really begin tuning into their needs and what is truly important to them. Meditation practice can often be used to find answers to important questions, and gain a sense of clarity and direction. When Megan Fox was filming Legends of the Lost, she used silent meditation to get answers to her most pressing questions.
Meditating allows you to switch off from outside noise, to de-clutter your mind, to give you the space to connect to your heart centre, and your truth. And it is in your heart where happiness and a healthy life lie. Meditating daily not only helps you make the right decisions for you, but it also helps you build a more loving, compassionate and kind relationship with yourself.
Many people also report changes in their health; decreased blood pressure levels, a reduction in chronic pain, and improved sleep. Beyoncé, in an interview, has shared that she relied on tools like meditation and breathing techniques to get her body back to health after a challenging year.
Looking to get some of these juicy benefits from meditating too?
From Transcendental Meditation ™, sitting in silence, guided meditations, walking meditations, Calm App, Heartfulness, breathing meditation or mantra based ones, there is a technique out there for everyone. The trick is to start small, and find a way to meditate that you enjoy. Want to learn how you can begin meditating now? Here are some beginner techniques I share with my clients:
BEGIN MEDITATING NOW:
1. Instead of having to carve out an allocated time every day, build a meditation practice, place a bunch of stickers on objects around you – one on your fridge, another on your mirror and maybe on your laptop cover. Every time you see the sticker pause, inhale for 5 and exhale for 5, repeat a few times. This practice will allow you to get used to the importance of pausing and coming into the present moment, by switching off from your monkey mind.
2. Before you even grab your phone from the dresser, sit up in bed, and give yourself 5 minutes of ‘you’ time. Bring your attention to your heart and focus all your attention there. See your heart as a pure bright white light that is expanding from your centre. Any time a thought comes, notice it and then come back to focusing on your heart centre.
3. Another really simple way to begin meditation is mantra based. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and repeat the mantra ‘I am’. Keep saying this in your mind. Any time you are distracted, notice you are distracted and bring your attention back to repeating the mantra. Repeat for at least 5 minutes.
As you practice your daily meditations, work up to meditating for at least 20 minutes each day. This, with time, will help you see bigger and better changes in your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Whatever practice you choose, start small, experiment with different techniques and, as I always tell my clients, there is no way you can do it wrong. No one is bad at it! It is a matter of practice, and the practice will return with rewards to enhance your life.
PHOTOGRAPHS: SHUTTERSTOCK, GETTY