Mention the word ‘meditation’ and for many people it may conjour up an image of sitting cross-legged and chanting ‘ommmmm’. And sure, this is one traditional way of meditating that is still favoured by many. But meditation in its modern state has evolved into a simpler practice of taking a few minutes out of your day each day, to free your mind of thoughts.
The essence of meditation, practiced for thousands of years, has always been about the act of sitting, breathing and letting go. And this is still the same now. You don’t need any fancy equipment. You don’t need special music. You don’t need hours of free time. (Although of course, you can use any or all of these things if you want to.) All you need is a quiet space and a few minutes of time to yourself.
I first tried meditating when my daughter was a baby – I went to the doctor because of extreme lack of sleep and said: “Help me”! To my surprise, she recommended a meditation app called Headspace. I was uncertain but also desperate, so I gave it a go. It actually worked wonders, helping me to feel calmer, more relaxed and yes, after a couple of weeks of 10 minute daily meditation, it did help me to sleep better, too.
Guided meditation practices such as Headspace are good for guiding novices in what to do. But you can lead your own meditation if you prefer. As a general guide, you set aside 10 minutes in your day (first thing in the morning, at lunchtime, before bed, while your child naps… whatever works best for you) and you:
- Close your eyes.
- Take slow, deep breaths.
- Focus on your breathing.
- Whenever your mind wanders, take your thoughts back to your breathing.
- Focus on every single part of your body in turn and notice how it feels – this not only helps to stop the constant flow of thoughts, it is also a great way to identify particular areas of stress, pain or discomfort that you may not have noticed before.
- Focus on your emotional state – how do you feel? We are often so busy in our lives that we don’t notice how we actually feel.
By meditating, you are giving your body the gift of 10 minutes to just ‘be’ and to calm your mind of endless thoughts and to-do lists. And in return, you can feel more relaxed, calm, positive, happy and focused.
Meditation also helps you to become more aware of any niggles you may have in your body. For instance, you knew you were getting headaches, but you didn’t realise how tight your neck and shoulders were until you stopped to focus on each area of your body. So by targeting your neck and shoulder tension, you could in turn help to prevent the headaches. Or whatever your particular issues may be.
Whatever is happening in your life, do your body, mind and wellbeing a favour and take a few minutes each day to just Let. It. Go.
Willowberry natural skincare is dedicated to your skin’s wellbeing to help it feel content, comfortable, happy and balanced. Just how we all want to feel in ourselves, too! The Willowberry Wellbeing blog aims to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced and happy life for enhanced wellbeing.