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Wednesday 15th May was World Meditation Day so prompted us to focus a blog on the subject of meditation.

 

Do you regularly take time out to meditate or are there a number of excuses you’ve given yourself for not doing so? If you are making excuses are they actually valid? Let’s explore some of the myths and truths surrounding common excuses people use:-

 

1.  I Don’t Have Time

Meditation doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. You can benefit from just 5 to 10 minute sessions and can even build up to this. Nobody is that busy in a 24 hour day that they cannot devote at least a few minutes to meditating. If this is an excuse you are using then take an honest look at how you are spending your time. By looking at the other activities eating up your time it becomes easier to see where possible changes can be made. You will soon have to admit that It comes down to how you choose to prioritise.

 

2.  It’s Religious and I’m Not

Some people see meditation as purely for the religious amongst us. Yes, it’s true that most of the major religions use some form of meditation but being religious is not a prerequisite for meditation. Spirituality and religion are different things and you can meditate regardless whether or not you are religious.

 

3.  I Can’t Sit Cross Legged

If you cannot comfortably sit cross legged there is no point in you using this position to meditate. There is no set position that has to be adhered to for good practice so simply choose to sit or lie down instead.

 

4.  It’s Just Another Fad

We’re frequently introduced to all sorts of fads in the health and fitness industry so it’s not surprising some people see meditation as yet another one. Increasingly, the media are, however, sharing the science and studies that show the health benefits of a regular meditation practice.

Major companies such as Apple, Google and Nike, the military and the sporting industry have recognised the benefits and promote the practice.

 

Benefits of Regular Meditation

Research claims that regular daily meditation practice can improve health and well being in numerous ways including:-

Stress reduction Treating insomnia Boosting memory Aiding weight loss

Increasing pain tolerance Reducing anxiety Lowering blood pressure Lowering inflammation Greater compassion Increased happiness Improved creativity

 

Ideas on How to Start

  1. Start small, allocating just a few minutes each day and building this
  2. Commit to a regular time each
  3. Try sitting on a chair, the couch, or the floor, or lying on the bed or Don’t worry you are not in the ‘right’ position just experiment to find what works best for you.
  4. Acknowledge how your mind and body are
  5. Start to focus on your breath, counting one as you inhale and two as you exhale. Count up to ten like this and then repeat.
  6. Your mind is likely to wander so when it does just return to one again and resume counting.
  7. Try not to get frustrated with yourself or start to judge your practice. There is no one perfect way to meditate so don’t worry that you’re doing it wrong.
  8. A body scan starting at the soles of your feat and working up to your head, focusing briefly on one body part at a time is another popular and useful way to
  9. You can meditate anywhere and as you get more used to the practice, can incorporate it into walks and even on your
  10. Following a guided meditation is another way some people find useful. There are endless choices online headscape.com and insighttimer.com are popular sites offering a wide range of guided meditation options.
  11. You may prefer to join a group. If so, explore classes in your area, on line or why not set one up with friends or family?

 

Increasingly as well as exercise and eating healthily, meditation is proving to offer countless health benefits. Living in today’s busy world, it’s often hard to prioritise ourselves when there are so   many demands on our time. Try taking an honest look at your daily schedule and carve out some time to devote to meditation. Commit to a daily practice for at least a month and see if you notice any benefits. As with anything the changes will not occur overnight.

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