Everyone can agree that feeling calm, having the ability to focus and being happy are things we all want to achieve. Not just temporarily but long term!
In this article we will explain how to practice one of the most simple and enjoyable forms of meditation so that you too can achieve these states of mind.
We'll walk you through an overview of meditation and then step by step on how you too can practice it :)
So what is meditation?
What Is Meditation - How Can It Benefit You?
Meditation is an absolutely amazing tool and practice that we can use to calm our minds, improve our focus and become and be happier. There are many different ways to practice meditation, and the meaning / purpose of meditating may differ from person to person.
I'm going to share an overview of my personal favourite style and teach you how to practice one of the simplest and most effective styles of meditation, commonly called "breath awareness meditation". Breath awareness meditation is great if you would like to achieve any of the following:
- Reduce stress both immediately after meditating and when not meditating
- Improve focus and concentration
- Become less irritable and more calm
- Reduce anxiety
- Become happier
This is just but a small list of the benefits meditation can bring into your life. We would love you to share other benifits you've noticed in the comments below!
How do I actually meditate?
How To Do Breath Awareness Meditation
Get Comfortable & Find a Quiet Place - Make It Easier For Yourself
To start get comfortable and find a private location where you won't be bothered, you can feel comfortable and is ideally quiet. If you're unable to find a quiet place you can use headphones or earbuds and listen to some white noise, or relaxing meditation music (just search for some on YouTube). There's no problem with background noises or music in your location, just as long as you're hearing it more so as white noise rather than active noise that you find distracting.
What you might be wondering...
Timing & Repetition - How Long It Will Take & How Often You Should Do it
Many people ask how long they should meditate for and the truth is there's no one right answer. People new to meditation may find overly long sessions to become tedious, boring and difficult. To avoid this, I recommend beginners starting with 5-15 minutes per session until they feel comfortable trying longer sessions.
If you have never meditated before I would just start with a quick 5 minute session. What's possibly even more important than the length of your meditation is turning it into a habit.
One off meditations can be great for experiencing some of the benefits I listed above, but typically, to enjoy these benefits even when you're not meditating, a daily practice is effective at achieving this.
For this reason, just starting with a nice and easy 5 minutes per day can be a great way to start.
Personally I like to use an alarm on my phone to time my meditations (be sure to put your phone into airplane mode to avoid distractions). This helps me to avoid thinking about whether I have completed enough minutes or not, and instead allowing me to more easily focus on meditating. Use a low volume and unjarring alarm sound to help come out of meditation nice and calmly.
There's more you should know...
Get Into Meditation Position - Ensure Your Body Supports Your Mind
Traditionally, many people sit cross legged on the floor while they meditate, personally I like to lay down. The choice is yours, simply find a position you can stay in comfortably for 5-15 minutes (or however long you wish to meditate).
Close your eyes and allow yourself to relax, thank yourself for taking the time out of the day to practice self care through meditation. Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing for the duration of your meditation practice, these precious moments are yours to do nothing with.
Now...the moment you've been waiting for:
Breath Awareness - Learn The Core Principle Of This Practice
Begin to take deep and slow inhalations through your nose followed by exhalations also through your nose. With each inhalation and exhalation, simply focus your mind on this action. Think about nothing except the way your breath feels deeply and slowly inhaling and exhaling slowly and rhythmically.
For many including myself, this can be difficult! Your mind will begin to wander and think about all kinds of things. This is completely normal so don't be discouraged at all. Each time this happens gently bring your attention back to your breath. For the duration of your meditation this is all you have to do, focus on your breath, and gently bring your awareness back when your mind wanders.
The best part?
The Effects Of Meditation - What Can You Expect To Happen From Meditating
As you progress through your meditation, eventually your mind should begin to calm. It will stray less and focusing on just your breath will become easier. If it does not happen the first time, or for that matter the first 10 times! Do not worry, this is perfectly normal. Do not become discouraged and instead thank yourself for beginning this journey of mental growth through meditation.
Just like our muscles, our brain must be exercised consistently for change to occur. Each meditation should feel good, just like a workout would when it's complete, but your mental six pack will take time to develop.
Longer and more frequent meditations can help to accelerate the journey of strengthening your mind, within reason. Like most things, a natural balance between the rest of your life and meditation will likely result in the most vibrant growth for yourself.
That's not all...
Additional Thoughts On Meditation - Help Make It a Habit
Meditation groups can be a great way to promote accountability for yourself to ensure you do it. They're also a great way to meet like minded individuals who are interested in self growth and will certainly be happy to share their knowledge with you. Just do a quick Google search "your city name meditation group" to find one near you, they're typically free or extremely cheap to attend.
Many will meet on a weekly (or more frequently basis) and you will meditate together. The meditations are often followed by group discussions about healthy and happy living in some way.
How can you take this practice with you every day?
Assist Your Meditation Practice With a Mala - Use a Physical Reminder To Help You Meditate
MALA FOREST is a not for profit raising funds for the relief of poverty through tree planting. All of this supported by the sale of our Mala's.
Mala's are a type of necklace that are popular within the meditation practitioner community. For many they are worn simply as a physical reminder of positive intentions, for myself it's a reminder to meditate.
In addition, those who wear Mala's more easily attract people who know what Mala's are into their lives. This can be a great way to bring more positivity and awesome people into your life.
Learn more about Mala's here: What Are Mala Beads?
Comments & Questions - Get Extra Support & Share Your Opinion!
It was awesome to put into words how I would explain breath awareness meditation. If you have any questions or comments about this article, or anything else, I would love to hear from you. Please comment below.
If you think you know someone who might benefit from learning how to meditate, please share this article with them.
- Robert O'Kruk