How Should I Meditate?

With all of the positive press surrounding meditation, I understand why so many people are interested in starting to meditate. Meditation helps calm your busy mind, enabling you to think before impulsively acting. It brings you into the present versus obsessing over past or future events. It relaxes your body, helping you become more grounded and filled with inner peace. Meditation can help prevent health concerns, including high blood pressure, depression and anxiety.

There are many different ways to meditate, and a lot of information out there about what to do, some of which is conflicting. This can make it a little confusing to figure out how to get started with your practice. Let’s first review the different types of meditation.

Forms of Meditation

These are three forms of meditation I’m most familiar with.

Mantra Meditation
This popular form of meditation is the version I started with. You first establish a mantra, which is a sound, word or phrase that you repeat over and over again throughout your meditation. Repeating your mantra helps provide you with a point of focus to assist with calming your busy mind. A lot of beginners choose a mantra centered around their breathing; for example, “I am breathing in, I am breathing out”. Whenever a thought enters your mind, you bring focus back to your mantra.

Active Meditation
During this type of meditating, you can walk, sweep, rake leaves of even wash dishes while you calm your mind. The key is, the action you perform must be repetitive and not require a lot of thought to complete. To calm your mind and slow your thoughts, you focus only on the repetitive action you are doing; for example, walking one foot in front of the other. I personally find that my mind wonders too much during this practice format.

Soul, Mind, Body Meditation
I recently took a terrific adult learning course in Toronto, where we were taught to blend mantra, active and visual techniques together during our meditation practice. This version of meditating has worked most effectively for me, because it holds my attention and interest. I’ve stuck with my 80/20 rule and meditated at least six out of every seven days for over four months now, my record!

If you would like to learn more about this powerful mind calming technique, reach out to me and we can perform it together a few times until you have the hang of it.

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3 Tips When You Start Meditating

  1. Be consistent. It’s less important what form of meditation you decide to embrace, and more important you find a version that intrigues you to perform it regularly. In my experience, I’ve found you will realize the most benefit from this practice when you complete it regularly. Like anything I do in life, I aim to practice meditation 80% of the time, so my goal is to perform it six days out of seven. If you practice consistently, it will become easier to clear your mind and focus during meditation and throughout the day.
  2. Ten minutes is magic. Doing something is better than nothing, however, I have found when I meditate for less than ten minutes a day, I’m not quite as focused and calm. This length of time allows you to get into your practice and relax. Spending ten minutes daily to calm my mind has benefited me the most.
  3. Mornings are key. Almost every time I try meditating after 12pm, it doesn’t happen. Something “more important” always seems to come up, or I forget to do it altogether. Calming my mind is such a cleansing and refreshing feeling, it feels more natural to complete this exercise in the morning.
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To Sum it up…

With all of the positive press surrounding meditation, it isn’t surprising to see interest in it growing. There are many different ways to start meditating, I encourage you to explore the various formats to figure out which one works best for you.

Regardless of the form of meditation you embrace, remember to be consistent with your practice. Start meditating for ten minutes at a time, and perform it early in the day so you are more sure to do it. I’d love to hear how mediation has changed your life.