We all face lots of stress in the modern world. That’s just a fact. Unless you have completely turned away from the hectic and chaotic world we live in – and if you have I say well done – we are all prone to experiencing the negative effects of stress. For some it can be totally crippling, affecting entire days, weeks or months at a time. When you are dealing with high stress it is literally the only thing you can think about, and the problems causing the stress in the first place are not getting solved. Meditation can change all of that.
Many of you may be thinking that meditation is something that is practised mainly by professionals in studios. That was certainly my view many years ago before I actually read up on the subject. I also held the (false) belief that meditation wouldn’t actually achieve anything; it wouldn’t relieve me of my stress, it wouldn’t make me feel happier, it wouldn’t make me healthier.
Luckily, one day I was contacted by my old roommate from university who had just opened a yoga and meditation studio and was trying to get the word out about it. I went down to see the studio and signed up for a few basic meditation classes. Those classes converted me into a meditation lover, and so I want to pass on the basics of meditation to you in this article.
1. Make sure you are in a comfortable environment with comfortable clothing on. Your environment should be a room with no external interruptions, like televisions, computers or radios.
2. Sit on the floor, but rather use a cushion for comfort. Sit upright, but make sure you’re not tense in any way. Your hands should be resting on top of your thighs, and you should bring your head slightly forward.
3. At this point either shut your eyes or focus on the middle distance with your eyes relaxed. Allow your mind to calm. If you feel stressful thoughts coming on, focus your mind on your posture, and then allow your mind to calm once more.
4. Start to become hyper-aware of all 5 of your senses. From your head to your toes, try to notice how it feels to just be. Become aware of your breathing, and even become aware of every pause between breaths.
5. If your thoughts wander at any point, return your mind to the awareness. Set a soft alarm for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, your mind should feel much more relaxed.
Try it out every day for a week, and I guarantee you that you will notice a shift in your thinking. You’ll think far more clearly than before and your stress levels will decrease.
Article by Josh