How meditation can improve your mental health
What’s meditation all about? Is it just for young bohemian types who sit, surrounded by scented candles, making weird ‘oohhmm’ noises? Actually no, it’s not. Meditation is an amazingly simple, useful tool to help us all take just a few minutes out of the day to just pause. Life can get pretty stressful sometimes and the global pandemic of Covid-19 certainly hasn’t helped. So, if you’re one of those who think meditation is all mumbo jumbo and tinkly bells… read on, you might be surprised.
How to meditate
- Find somewhere to sit in a quiet environment where you are comfortable
- If you’re a beginner, set yourself a time limit of maybe 5 to 10 minutes
- Get comfortable. Whether you sit on a dining chair with feet on the ground, in your favourite armchair with your feet up or cross-legged on the floor, it really doesn’t matter, just make sure you are comfortable and can stay in that position for a while
- Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and gently out through your mouth and feel the sensation of your breath as it goes in and out
- If you notice that your mind has wandered back to day to day worries, concentrate again on your breathing
- If your mind keeps wandering, be kind to yourself and try counting your breaths in and out
- When you’re ready, open your eyes and just take a moment to notice how you’re feeling before ending your meditation session
When to meditate
Try to set just a few minutes aside each day and try to incorporate it into your routine so that you won’t forget – after lunch, after taking the dog for a walk, before your favourite afternoon TV show, whenever suits you best. Remember, start slowly, take just 5 or 10 minutes to get into the swing of things, you’ll probably soon start to increase your sessions as you start to feel the benefits.
What are the benefits?
It might feel a bit strange at first but, trust us, take just a few minutes each day to practice and you’ll soon start to see the benefits which can include improved sleep, reduced anxiety and stress, increased concentration and less memory loss and, best of all, a general feeling of increased happiness.
Happy meditating – oh, and if you do want to surround yourself with scented candles and tinkly bells, go for it!