I have a friend who meditates every morning before she goes into work. She has one of those jobs where you work with the public and no one is ever happy when they come see you. I once asked her why. Why meditate in the morning when most choose to meditate in the evening as a way to relieve themselves of the stresses of the day? I want to start my day in the best frame of mind possible. She responded, If I start my day centered and calm, then I will be able to tackle any obstacle that comes my way. Meditation is key.
It’s an interesting way to think of it. Whether you meditate in the morning, in the evening, or even on your lunch break, meditation allows you to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety on the body and spirit. It’s an act of self-care, supporting your emotional health and raising self-awareness. In a later blog post, I’ll focus more so on how to meditate in your office or when you are on the go, but in this blog post, I’m going to focus simple ways to add meditation into your home life.
One of the hardest things for people to manage when they meditate is their brain. Your brain is always on, always buzzing. When they try to quiet themselves, their brain goes into overdrive, replaying events of the day, going over to-do lists, etc. If you are first starting out meditating, I recommend playing calming music softly in the background. Your mind sort of latches on to that music and it helps you relax and focus on being in that present moment. YouTube has a treasure trove of free videos to help you quiet your mind. Also check out the app Insight Timer. It is amazing and has tons of free guided meditations.
While some believe that to meditate, you must be seated on a floor mat or pillow, try using your time in the shower as an opportunity to quiet your mind. The warm water in a shower automatically relaxes you and the sound of the water can help you feel more centered and focused. Plus, you are more likely to be alone in the shower and without family members or pets to distract you.
If you find the thought of meditating boring or find it hard to sit still, try meditating for short spurts – maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Any amount of time that you can find to meditate, even if it is only a few minutes, will go a long way in setting up your emotional health. Finding a mantra to add into your meditation will give you something to focus on other than mentally counting down the minutes in your mind. Om Mani Padme Hum is a commonly used mantra that is easy to pronounce.
Meditating right before bed will help you relax your body as well. If you have never meditated before, add it into your nightly routine, even if it is just for a week, and see how you feel after. Consistency is the key. By meditating right before bed, you are setting up a routine for yourself.
The more you meditate, the easier you will find it to be to get (and keep) yourself calm and centered. So go ahead, close your eyes for a minute or two, take a deep breath and say it with me Oooohhhhmmmm