Do you meditate? Have you tried before and struggled to create a practice? Have you thought about meditation, but you’re just not sure how to get started or even how to fit it into your day?
For many, meditation is something that they just don’t have time for and feel like it’s something that “other people” do.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that meditation will change your life for the better. And I don’t meditate with 100% consistency or for anything longer than 15 minutes (and those sessions are rare, I usually meditate for 10 minutes) And still, it’s changed everything.
Rather than believe my experience, take a look at these statistics and study results:
Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease – Research has shown that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.
A Younger Brain – A study from UCLA found that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. Participants who’d been meditating for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain — although older meditators still had some volume loss compared to younger meditators, it wasn’t as pronounced as the non-meditators. (Source: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551/full)
Reduced Anxiety – Mindfulness meditation has also been shown to help people with social anxiety disorder: a Stanford University team found that it brought about changes in brain regions involved in attention, as well as relief from symptoms of social anxiety. (Source: http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/1/65.short)
For more information and statistics about the physical and emotional benefits of meditation check out this report: Meditation in Depth – https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm
Once you have the WHY for meditation, the HOW comes next.
As you know I’m a big fan of baby steps. Start with two minutes a day. That’s all. Sit down in a chair or on your couch – somewhere your back is supported and your feet are on the ground. Close your eyes, take deep breaths and count your breaths for two minutes. Use a timer. I like InsightTimer and I LOVE HeadSpace. Both are apps available on mobile devices.
If you’re curious about meditation or you would like to achieve the benefits that it promises, you have to start but you don’t have to start big. You don’t have to go on a retreat or create a special meditation room (though that sounds nice doesn’t it?). You don’t have to sit for hours or have any kind of enlightenment. All you have to do is spend a few minutes each day counting your breaths.