No one likes feeling stressed, but whether it’s caused by work, self-esteem, family, or the weather, it’s something we all have to deal with. This is why it is so important that we all know how to manage it.
One of the easiest ways to maintain a happy and calm mind-set throughout the year is meditation. As well as being one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve your mood, meditation also helps you focus on your day to day activities.
Many people are reluctant to try it because they think it is too hard or they are unsure of where to start, so we thought we’d give you four simple steps to follow that will set you up for meditation success:
Traditionally, there are two time periods considered to be the prime time to meditate; first thing in the morning before the sun rises, or between four and eight PM, depending on when the sun sets. These two times are said to be the best because they help you to properly connect with the spiritual world.
However, there are some other benefits:
- Putting yourself into a complete state of relaxation and clearing your mind of any stress first thing in the morning sets you on the right track for the rest of the day.
- Whether you’ve been at work or have been shopping, meditating between four and eight pm relieves you of any tension you have built up during the day and helps you unwind.
Choosing a specific space to always meditate ritualises the practice and encourages you to make it into a habit.
Try and keep this space separate to activities that cause you stress or take you away from a relaxed state, such as where you work or the room where you exercise.
You want to make the whole practice soothing; from the minute you walk into your meditation space to the minute you walk out. To do this, ensure the room is a relaxing environment; try decorating with paintings of nature or adorn with candles and incense that you can light upon arrival.
Breathing is an essential part of meditation, so it is important you understand and learn how to control and breathe properly:
- First of all, make sure that when you are inhaling, your stomach is expanding, and when you exhale, your stomach deflates.
- Now, breathing in and out of your nose, take 4-8 quick and sharp breaths in, and one long breath out. Repeat this until you are completely focused on your breathing.
Yes, meditation is about clearing the mind, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore your thoughts.
If you do find yourself thinking, don’t panic and try to control your mind, simply return to your mantra to encourage concentration and a deeper state of relaxation.
A great mantra to begin with is to feel the pulse in your wrist with two fingers and repeat ‘Sat Nam’ – meaning truth is my identity – with every pulse. Combine this with your focused breathing, and you will find that you easily drift backwards and forwards between your thoughts.
If you’re interested in trying meditation but would like more help getting started, why not join us at Hale Country Club for one of our meditation classes?
You can book online today or contact us on 0161 904 5939.