By Jodi Friedman
If you have been unsuccessful at meditating on your own, it may be time to look at and manage your expectations. Many people think that meditation is supposed to look a certain way to find their bliss. In the beginning, it’s quite probable to think you’re doing something wrong because you don’t know how to let go of your thoughts. The truth is, it’s all in your perception that makes the real difference. What if you were to know that there’s no wrong way to meditate; wouldn’t that relieve the pressure? Here’s the reality…
The only wrong way to meditate is to not meditate at all.
Repetitive thoughts and beliefs that you are powerless, weak and hopeless often run in the background of the mind. These thoughts keep us in check and bind us to live the same day over and over until something happens to change and rewire those brainwaves. The welcome shift that can change everything around you is meditation.
From physically changing the structure of the brain to releasing stress-neutralizing chemicals to quieting the anxiety-creating mind chatter, meditation can give the welcome relief needed for a healthy and happy life.
Do you experience any of the following?
Meditation relaxes your nervous system, generates optimism, self-esteem, confidence and motivation. It slows down the cardiovascular system, restores and balances digestion and absorption of nutrients, and relieves insomnia and headaches. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons to find a daily meditation practice that slows down the racing mind.
Picture your day never stopping to slow down your thoughts. Approximately 60,000 thoughts float in and out every day. People feel fatigued when they don’t take time to de-stress their brain. Let’s talk about some tips and tricks of the trade that can make meditating the perfect tool in your toolbox.
Commit to a daily practice to create a new positive habit that will bring a clear vision of how you can change things for the better. Understand that this is the beginning of changing your world both inside and out.
Choose the time of day that works best for you and commit to it. Ten minutes a day is a good place to start. For best results, doing it at the same time each day gives you the best opportunity for consistently slowing down your mind and relaxing the body.
Find your quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
If possible, sit with a straight back, feet touching the floor or in the lotus position; hands on your lap and eyes closed. Thumb and middle finger can be touching; palms up.
Whether you meditate in silence or with gentle spa music, focus on the rhythm of your in-breath and your out-breath as your mind and body begin to relax. Allow your thoughts to drift in and drift out; allowing whatever comes in to be there without judgment. It’s as if you became a witness to somebody’s thoughts and you just watch them come and go. Do this for 10 minutes and slowly bring yourself back into the room; taking your time to feel centered and grounded and in your body.
Once you’ve finished meditating, jot down some positive information you received in your meditation. Focus on a few things you feel grateful for. The more a person meditates, the more their brains can rewire for balance and peace.
A few apps you might try for meditation:
Insight Timer, Head Space, Breethe, and Calm