Meditation is more than just relaxing. It’s actually physically beneficial.
From your central nervous system to improving heart health and promoting better
sleep, there are a ton of benefits to working meditation into your day.
What’s so scary about meditation?
The truth about meditation is that it’s not about fighting anything, and it’s not about how or where you’re sitting.
If you’ve never tried meditation, you might have some preconceived notions about what this practice involves, and some of those ideas might even be standing between you and the benefits of meditating. I’m new to this whole meditation thing, but if I’d known some of the things below, I might have gotten into it a lot sooner!
1. You don’t have to turn off your brain.
Sure, sometimes you are able to fully quiet your mind, but turning off all of your thoughts isn’t a requirement in meditation. Thoughts are going to naturally pop up, and meditation is about not fixating on them. Imagine instead that you’re floating down a river. Sure, flotsam and jetsam might float by, but you don’t have to pick it up or let it disturb your journey.
It’s OK to have thoughts while you’re meditating. What’s important is that when thoughts do pop into your head, that you let them go as soon as you realize they’re there. Acknowledge them, sure, but then bring your awareness to your breath and let those nagging thoughts float right by.
2. It doesn’t have to take a long time.
I thought meditating meant devoting at least 30 minutes to an hour to sitting quietly and breathing, but that’s not true! Even five to ten minutes of meditation can benefit your well being. You can sneak it in while supper is in the oven or just before you go to bed.
Related Reading: Distance Running: Meditation in Motion
3. You don’t have to tune out sounds.
Just like thoughts, you can’t make sounds disappear, and you can’t turn your ears off while you’re meditating.
When you’re meditating and unpleasant sounds crop up, treat them just like nagging thoughts. Acknowledge them, and focus on your inhalations and exhalations until they fade into the background.
4. Sitting up straight isn’t required.
Does sitting for long periods hurt your back? You don’t have to sit up in a chair or on the floor to meditate! Instead of letting this hangup stop you, find a position that does work for you.