I want you to forget everything you think you know about meditation.
Whether you think you need to sit in a lotus position, chant, hum, sit in silence for 20 minutes. Let all of that go now. Meditation is what you make it. You can learn to develop your own meditation practice that suits you, your needs and your lifestyle.
These are three key points I want you to know about meditation:
- It’s not blocking out your thoughts and trying not to think
- There are many different ways to meditate
- Meditation is a skill, it takes regular practice and you can improve
- The most simple way to start is with some breathing exercises. It may seem like the most simple thing in the world but, often, we forget to breathe properly. We race through life hardly taking a breath.
Start by placing both hands on your stomach and feel your belly expand and contract. Continue breathing this way, making your belly as big as possible, and see if you can keep the chest still while you do this.
Deep belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, and reduces the sympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system is what will send you into “fight or flight” mode. The balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems regulate how the body deals with stress.
As you go throughout your week, see how many times you can remember to stop and take some deep breaths.
Before an important work meeting, during a disagreement, or at the end of a particularly stressful day, stop and simply breathe for 30 seconds and see how it transforms your whole outlook. Yes, it really is as simple as that!