A beginner's guide to meditation


A beginner's guide to meditation

 | By Holly Trueman | @hollytrueman

When life feels super busy and chaotic, it can be hard to make sound, sensible decisions.

For example, we may panic when we should remain calm... or we may opt for a greasy takeaway pizza when we should have had a salad. The result? We begin to feel extremely sluggish and stressed out.

This is where mediation comes in handy. 

Putting aside just 10 minutes for meditation is thought to help counteract stress, anxiety and insomnia, helping us to make sound decisions and feel happier in day to day life. Sound good? Keep reading!

How to start meditating

First of all, find yourself a quiet space where you can relax. Now set your timer for 10 minutes and sit comfortably with your hands on your lap. NOTE: whether you choose to sit on your favourite chair or you'd rather sit cross-legged on a mat, make sure you keep your spine straight and your head up. 

Next, focus all of your attention on your breath as it comes in your nostrils and out of your mouth. You'll notice that paying attention to your breathing allows you to really anchor yourself in the present moment

TOP TIP: on your out-breath, try to silently count to four - this should help maintain focus.

Once you've mastered your breathing, gently close your eyes. If you find that your mind is wandering, try slowly shifting your attention from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Try asking questions such as 'is this area tense?' or 'Is this area hot/cold?' This should keep your mind from worrying over unread emails and unpaid bills.

Once your ten minutes comes to end, don't rush to open your eyes and don't immediately start moving around. Just open your eyes gradually, stretch out, and become aware of your surroundings - colours, sounds, smells - you name it!

NOTE: although there are countless types of ‘meditation music’ available, you should try opting for silence. Why? Because often music can distract us. What's more? We experience calmness and steadiness from silence, helping you get the most out of this 10 minutes of tranquillity.

It seems that meditation is this answer, no matter what the question is! So, squeeze in a 10-minute session and you'll soon be reaping the benefits.