Meditation has been around for decades upon decades, but it’s something new for a variety of people. Meditation is something I chose to implement into my daily life because it enables me to really connect with my inner self, as well as reduces the clutter in my head.
Meditation has been known to reduce stress, reduce blood pressure, increase focus, reduce anxiety and, my personal favorite, promote inner calmness. I could bore you with more details, but what I’m really trying to convey is meditation is a game changer.
One thing to note about meditation is that it’s a practice. You won’t start today and immediately reap the benefits. Meditation slowly teaches you to sit with your feelings, and uncomfortable feelings at that. It forces you to be silent and listen to what that still voice has to offer you. I’ve had a multitude of clients tell me they’re just too anxious to meditate or that it’s traumatizing to sit with their thoughts. I get that it can be difficult to face yourself, but as I always love to say, it’s worth it. When it comes to any trauma or anxiety in your life, there’s no way around it: you gotta go through it to heal. This is not to say that regardless of your trauma or anxiety that meditation is the one and only key, this is just to say that meditation is a good way to learn to sit with difficult feelings. With that being said, you can implement meditation in a variety of ways. Let’s get to it!
1. Guided meditation
You can look up guided meditations up on YouTube or even download a few apps. (The app Calm is my personal favorite, and I’ve heard some good things about Headspace.) Using a guided meditation allows you to take the pressure off of yourself and let the person providing the meditation guide your breaths and thoughts. There are also many to choose from—you can listen to a guided meditation about anxiety, overthinking, depression, or negative thoughts, and the list goes on. The guided meditation that was really impactful for me is called Love and Kindness. I’ve listened to this meditation for months on end. Some days I’d listen to it several times a day to generate feelings of love and kindness toward people I love, but also towards people I really disliked. This also helped me generate feelings of love and kindness towards myself, and for that I am grateful.
2. Spiritual meditation
This kind of meditation allows you to practice prayer or connect with your inner self. I often put on calming music and contemplate a decision or talk with God about my struggles. This can be a very peaceful experience, but may take some time to get to place where you feel comfortable if you’re new to meditation. Many find it hard to focus, and that’s completely normal. It took me about five months to really be able to sit with myself. Don’t be hard on yourself it just takes some practice.
3. Mindfulness Meditation
This meditation can be done in daily life by doing normal things. As humans, we use our senses daily. We wash the dishes, we cook, we do laundry and so on. Mindfulness meditation allows us to do these activities and really be present while completing tasks. This means when washing the dishes, really focus on the bubbles and how the warm water makes your hands feel. Focus on the smell of the soap and the sound of the dishes as you pick them up. I know I tend to have a thousand things on my mind when doing chores because I don’t have to think when I’m cooking or cleaning, it’s become a habit. I have found that when I refocus and practice being present with mundane things, I am also able to practice being present in other aspects of my life. I also do this with music, listening to every instrument and really connecting with what the artist is trying to convey. Being mindful truly can apply to anything—just try it.
4. Body meditation
Yoga is a great way to use meditation in a physical way. Yoga for me is all about connecting the mind, body, and soul. Exercise in itself is a great stress reliever, and with yoga you are able to reap the benefits of working out while building self-awareness. Yoga would have to be my favorite practice, but there are other ways to do body meditation. Qigong and Tai Chi are also practices you can try out.
5. Affirmation meditation
This kind of meditation focuses on picking an affirmation and using it to build confidence, as well as ground you. My favorite affirmation was recited by Oprah: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” This affirmation allows me to feel in control when I feel panicked, and it also enables me to visualize the kind of person I would be if I truly believed what I am saying. For affirmative meditation, it’s really important to focus on what you do want and not want you don’t. Generating positive feelings in your body can increase energy, motivation, and overall satisfaction.
Meditation allows us to slow down and reminds us to breathe. I think we all need that reminder every once in a while.