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I have no doubts that you’ve read all about the benefits of meditation and you’d love to experience them all...increased focus, a quieter mind, less worry. The list goes on and there’s overwhelming evidence that meditation can help us all improve our mental health. That was my motivation for getting started and I don’t mind admitting that i started small - with only 2 minutes a day.
That was a few years ago and for me it’s been life changing. I’m a less reactive, much calmer version of myself and so much more mindful of appreciating the small things in life. Daily meditation helps me to stand back and observe rather than getting swept away with the noise and thoughts in my mind; that doesn’t stop negative thoughts from trying to derail me at times but it does make them easier to spot and helps me to stay focused on my purpose.
I believe that meditation has the power to help us all, and that’s why today, I’m sharing a few tips to encourage you to take the first step to making meditation your new wellness habit…
START WITH 2 MINUTES
I mentioned it earlier, but this is where I started - just 2 minutes a day. Who doesn’t have that? And don’t try telling yourself that 2 minutes can’t make a difference because believe me it can! Try to take your 2 minutes in the morning because you’re much more likely to get it done, leaving it until the end of the day can risk you ‘running out of time’. Sit when you first get out of bed or even in your parked car before starting the day - where doesn’t matter, getting it done does.
LET GO OF PERFECTION
You don’t need to read three new books on meditation before getting started, or buy any particular clothes. You don’t need to be on a mountain top dressed in white for it to work either! Accept that it won’t look or feel like those picture perfect images and show up as you are - it’s the only way to begin.
FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH
Learning to use your breath as an anchor will come in time but as you start out simply become aware of it. Follow your breath as it flows into your body and then again as it leaves. Try it now, take a deep breath filling up your belly and lungs – hold it for a couple of seconds and then slowly let it go. Do this 3 times and see how good it feels. Doing this as you meditate is not only incredibly grounding but serves as a focus to help keep our attention.
DON'T CHALLENGE THOUGHTS
It’s fair to say that up to now your thoughts have had free reign over your mind and so don’t be surprised if they resist that quiet, calm feeling that you’re trying to achieve. Remember to be patient with yourself and remember that meditation does not stop our thoughts. But, it allows us to be an observer of them; letting us hear them and yet not engage - i like to imagine them as clouds and let them float on by. Your ability to do this will increase over time and you’ll naturally become less reactive, even in everyday situations. But, in the beginning just try taking a step back from them to prevent them spiraling out of control.
COMMIT TO 30 DAYS
It’s worth every minute of your time and so give it the commitment that it deserves. Even if, like me you can only start with 2 minutes each day - commit to at least 30 days to feel the benefits and make meditation your new wellness habit. For me it helped to pin a chart next to my desk so that i could cross off each day - which is a sense of satisfaction in itself! Here’s the chart that I created for myself, please print a copy of it for yourself and get started today .
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.