Find out what can happen when you open your heart and mind to the limitless possibilities in life.
This week we’re getting together to chat about taking time during the summer to create a new habit so I’m taking you to a place of zen.
Wait, many of you might already be thinking, “this isn’t for me.” Right?
Words like zen, meditation, and mindfulness can all be a little intimidating (and even off putting) or as if they’re meant for “other” people, but not for me. So before you read further, tell yourself, “My mind and heart are open to what I’m about to read and the possibilities.”
Take as much time as you need. I’ll wait.
Ok. Ready? Good.
To be quite honest I never really imagined myself to be someone that would use and live words like zen, meditation, and focus on your breath. To be more open to the idea of meditation I began to imagine the unimaginable. Try it.
Over the past 6 months I’ve needed to find a way to balance the part of life the is crazy busy and nonstop with moments of complete peacefulness. I’ve accepted that the busyness of life isn’t going to change. It’s always going to be present in varying degrees, but that busyness is less draining if it’s balanced with moments of calm.
Meditation is the natural path to bring mindfulness and peace of mind learned from yoga to everyday life.
So, how did I go about creating a new habit of practicing meditation? I’ve tried before unsuccessfully so I needed to do something different this time.
What’s the difference between then and now that has made this time a success?
At the very top of the list, let go of preconceived ideas of what you think meditation is, who should practice and what should happen in the experience. What we think meditation is or is not can limit our success. Meditation is simply about noticing and observing your own sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
Start with an intention of nothing more than to focus on your breathing. Count your breaths as they flow in and out, and slow your breathing down. Breathe deeply. It slows your heart rate and helps you to relax. It also helps to focus your mind so that your mind is less likely to wander.
Begin with 5-minute sessions, and when you’re ready for more (you’ll know when), move it up to 10 minutes.
Start with guided meditations. Until you’re more confortable with meditating, you might find it easier to have step by step instructions to follow.
You want to be in a space without distractions. Away from your computer, phone, TV and anything else that can distract you from your intentions.
Build a practice into your daily routine. By meditating every day at the same time or within the same daily routine, you develop a habit that becomes easier to maintain consistently.
Make sure your room is comfortable. Before you start, take a few deliberate deep breaths and stretch your body. Wear comfortable, loose clothing.
Try different types of meditation. Do a little research, see what appeals to you the most and start from there. There are dozens of techniques to meditate, such as Zen meditation, chanting meditations, mantras, and so on. Find what feels right to you.
Don’t try to force your mind to stop thinking. Forcing it can be frustrating and counter productive to your intention. With techniques, breathing and practice your mind will begin to stop on its own.
Your mind will wander and that’s ok. Simply acknowledge with compassion that your mind has wandered and bring it back to focus on breathing and how your body feels.
There are no rules for position, time, place, etc. Get comfortable, find what works for you and make that YOUR practice. You don’t even have to close your eyes if that’s not comfortable for you.
It probably won’t feel natural or comfortable at first. Be patient with the practice and kind to yourself. You might be surprised by how the whole experience unfolds.
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Have you ever considered trying meditation? Is mediation something that seems like it’s for “other” people and not you?
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