Meditation can take many forms. There are many different styles, techniques and types but in essence they all boil down to a similar theme. Meditation is something that you do for your mind. Some people practise meditation to find their spiritual centre, some people practise to find some relaxation.
Meditation is a way of coming into the present moment and finding a release from our constant thoughts. The type of modern meditation I teach is not for one second to trying to eliminate thoughts, it is to trying to find space between them. Our thoughts are pretty useful and we’d be a little hopeless without them, to say the least. We live in a world where we are over stimulated and this constant bombardment of stimulation leaves the brain very little rest time. Sure, it rests when we sleep, or at least sometimes it does! But we need to be able to create rest time for the brain during the day too, and some research says that meditation creates a different type of rest than sleep.
Mindfulness is a big trend at the moment, but it doesn’t necessarily mean meditation and vice versa. It is a great method to be conscious of what you are doing and is often where people start when dipping their toes into the world of meditation.
It can be nerve wracking to start, many of us don’t want to sit with our thoughts, but once you take that first leap you’ll not look back, I promise
Meditation can be tailored to certain goals and this is great to help people who are choosing to meditate for a particular reason. For example, you can meditate to relieve stress, anxiety or even migraines. However, meditations can have these impacts and many more even if they aren’t specified as the aim. Then there are the effects that are by-products of meditation, things that just happen. My meditation teacher used to say one of the benefits was ‘you start smiling at strangers’ but you may also find you sleep better, breathe better or perhaps your reactions to things become more considered. Scientifically meditation has been proven to lower blood pressure, which is enough of a reason to try meditation alone. The effects of meditation aren’t just mental it also can release muscle tension especially in the face, jaw and shoulders. As well as this another physical effect of meditation is that it puts you in your rest and digest state, your parasympathetic nervous system which helps the body to relax, heal and work efficiently.
Meditation is an individual experience. This is probably the most important thing you can take away from reading this blog. Meditation and its effects differ from person to person, so someone might love a certain technique and someone else may find it makes them more stressed! Before I started meditation in earnest, I had tried a few and quite frankly they all seemed a little ‘la la land’ and I just was not into that sort of meditation back then. Then I walked into a workshop with my teacher, and I walked out a convert, I knew his modern method was just right for me. It is like Goldilocks and her porridge; you must sample a few before you find the one that is just right.
So, you have to have a bit of trial and error until you find what you like and even then how your meditation goes differs day to day. Some days you will feel your thoughts subside, your stress fall away and you body soften, other days your meditation might just be a good think. That being said, even if it was just a good think, you have still allowed your brain some space to process so it will have still had benefits, even if you don’t deem it a ‘good’ meditation. Be patient and gentle with yourself when you meditate
Meditation is as simple as creating space between your thoughts, but the effects can be life changing. It can be nerve wracking to start, many of us don’t want to sit with our thoughts, but once you take that first leap you’ll not look back, I promise.
If you want to start meditation but aren’t sure where to start then you should try my online meditation course. With 7 video sessions which you can re-watch to your heart’s content and a down to earth accessible approach my course will give you all the tools you need to integrate meditation into your modern lifestyle and start to find some space in your mind.