Meditation is a way of practising mindfulness. It’s about being present and establishing an open mind. It helps us to lower our stress levels, train our mind to stay focused, improve breathing patterns, connect better with our inner selves and reduce levels of anxiety. Ultimately, the practice of meditation can train our body and mind to become more emotionally stable and relaxed.
Meditation is a beautiful form of self-care; a part of your day that focuses on just you. A time to release stress, relax and rejuvenate yourself. It’s great for anybody who is looking to improve their mental health, self-awareness and self-esteem. You don’t have to be an expert to meditate, it’s just simply about learning how to be kind to yourself by letting go of pain and tension within your body. This article will discuss a few simple steps on how to meditate.
It’s a great idea to decide whether you want to meditate in silence, individually controlling your thoughts or meditate with the help of a guided session and voice. Beginners can usually start with a guide and then begin to figure out what works for them over time. There are guides on YouTube and on apps. I personally recommend Headspace; an app that teaches skills in relaxation, concentration, sleep and exercise. My personal favourite guides are ‘Creativity’, ‘Managing Anxiety’ and ‘Productivity’. There are also soundscapes such as ‘Low Lagoons’ for an evening meditation session. The brilliant thing about this app is that if you have a student Spotify premium account, you can add on the Headspace premium for no extra cost. It’s £5 for both Headspace and Spotify! However, if you don’t want to pay, there is also a free version which still has a range of sessions to listen to. On top of this, Headspace has now brought out their guides to meditation on Netflix, making it even more accessible. Go and check them out!
Where should I meditate? You should choose somewhere that you enjoy meditating. It could be in your bedroom, in the living room, at a yoga-class or outside. It’s nice to do the typical cross-legged meditation on your floor however it’s also enjoyable sometimes to listen to a guide whilst on a walk or lying in bed. Just do what feels right for you. Most times, it needs to be a quiet and comfy space; somewhere you can easily feel at peace. Some people like to separate their workspace and relaxation space by doing university work in the library/ their room and meditating in a different place. It’s completely up to you to decide.
Is there an ideal time of day to meditate? When beginning meditating, it’s important to decide on a time of day which works for you. The most ideal time should be a part of your day that you aim to dedicate completely to yourself and your self-growth. It could be as soon as you wake up, or just before you go to sleep.
How long should I meditate for? The time you spend meditating is completely up to you. You might want to begin with short sessions such as five or ten minutes and then eventually attempt longer periods of time such as forty-five minutes. Techniques such as Transcendental Meditation (for avoiding distracting thoughts and encouraging a state of relaxed awareness) recommend two sets of twenty-minute sessions, but again, it’s up to you! The amount of time depends on the person and their individual needs.
How to actually meditate: To achieve that desired ‘Zen’ experience, it’s important to know how to begin meditating. You should close your eyes and focus your attention onto the breath, feeling how your body moves with each inhale and exhale. If your mind wonders at any point, bring it back. Most people believe that meditation is about deep breathing however this is not strictly true, it is about concentrating on the breath and allowing it to bring stability to your body and mind.
Remember that self-growth and the other benefits of meditation come with time. There is no rush in the world of relaxation.