Meditation is a wonderful supplement to a well-rounded healthy routine. If we work out to make our bodies stronger, then meditation is like exercise for our minds. Many people shy away from the practice of meditation because it stands in such opposition to our busy lives, but this is perhaps the biggest reason you should try it.
You may feel like you have no time in the day to work in meditation. Before you rule it out, know that meditation can be done anywhere, at any time, and for any length of time, too. To experience the benefits of meditation (clarity of thought, reduced stress, improved relationships, and so much more) you do not need to meditate for an hour day. In fact, taking just a few minutes to meditate, especially when feeling stressed, can provide significant and immediate benefits for mind and body alike. So don’t worry about blocking out an hour for your first meditation session. Instead, find a time that feels natural for you to take a few minutes to relax. This might be first thing when you wake up, before you leave your car and head into work, or right before bedtime. Finding a natural break in your day and practicing at the same time each day can be really helpful in continuing your practice.
The next step is to decide on the kind of meditation you want to do. Beginners often try out guided meditation first. There are so many great iphone/android apps that are free and will lead you in guided meditation on hundreds of different subjects from body relaxation to anxiety relief to things like dealing with difficult relationships and interview preparation. Meditation apps are also great if you prefer non-guided meditation like listening to white noise, nature sounds, or calming music.
Some people prefer to just sit in a quiet place and focus on decluttering the mind while thinking about, well, nothing. It is hard to do! Your meditation is whatever you make it. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep a completely quiet mind, just try to let thoughts of things you need to take care of float on by. Know that meditation time is time for your mind to rest and recover.
If you are able to successfully meditate for five to ten minutes a day, you will start to experience deeper sleep, a clearer mind, reduced stress, and even a better mood. Just dive in, and don’t worry too much about “doing it right.” because with meditation, there is no right and wrong, and that’s why its called a practice!