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What is Meditation & Why is it So Important?

What is Meditation & Why is it So Important?

Meditation is about gaining a new perspective. It is scientifically proven to improve your physical, psychological and mental well being.

It is not about turning off your thoughts and emotions but discovering a new way to understand them, to see them from a different point of view and without judgement.

What is Meditation?

Meditation has been around for thousands of years and is practiced by many cultures in many different ways.

Originally meditation was used to deepen the connection between the meditator and the mystical. Now in the 21st century meditation is widely used as a form of stress relief and to aid relaxation.

Meditation can reconnect you back to your body and bring you a sense of peace and balance.

Meditation is a massive part of my life now and something I believe everyone should practice in one way or another

It can help you to refocus, reduce the chatter in your mind, lower your stress levels, get back in tune with your intuition and connect you to something bigger than yourself.

During meditation you focus your attention on your breath and try to quiet any thoughts that arise.

Easier said than done… your mind will wander and that’s ok, you just have to keep coming back to your breath.

Over time this will become easier and you will be able to focus on your breath for longer and longer.

The longer you can keep yourself in a meditative state the more benefits you will feel in your life outside of your meditative state.

Meditation acts like a pebble being dropped into a pond, the calming ripples will flow out to the rest of your life if you allow them to.

Why is Meditation so important?

Firstly it can help with so many things such as…

✨ Improved sleep

✨ Gaining a new perspective

✨ Lowering stress levels

✨ Reconnecting you with your body

✨ Bringing you back to the present moment

✨ Increase your creativity

✨ Lower your heart rate

✨ Lower your blood pressure

✨ Reduce anxiety

✨ Improve asthma

✨ Connecting you to a higher power & to nature

Spiders web in the morning dew

When I first started meditating I found it a lot easier to follow along to a guided meditation, it still is my preferred way.

If you would like to try a guided meditation I recommend having a look at Insight Timer there are thousands of free meditations and they are great for all levels.

Another app I really enjoy using is called Superhuman you have to subscribe monthly after the free trial but, Mimi has meditations for everything. Including seated, walking, writing, pep talks, cleaning and many more!

In todays crazy world we go through so much of our day on autopilot, completing the same tasks over and over using the same neurological pathways we always use.

Our brains have created habits by using these same pathways day in day out so, we are constantly performing tasks while not really having to think too hard about how to do them.

Think about walking, we don’t have to say to our brain ‘pick up my right foot and move it forward’ our brain has created a neurological pathway so as you think I’m going to walk over there you have already started moving.

Mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, breath work and many more challenge this autopilot system.

They encourage you to stop the default processes, take control of your mind and refocus attention.

Doing this overtime can activate your conscious mind and it will become stronger and stronger. Outside of your meditation this means you can approach situations with a different perspective, more clarity and the will power to make a new decision rather than the one you would have usually defaulted to.

Dr Joe Dispenza has a lot of talks, meditations and teachings around rewiring your brain, this video on Youtube explains the study of the effects of concentration on the brain.

Like anything meditation is a skill that you have to learn, it will not be easy immediately and you may find it very uncomfortable sitting in silence, if this is the case be kind to yourself and try to overcome these feelings and keep coming back to your breath.

It then becomes like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger and stronger it gets.

By starting off small and dedicating some time each morning or evening before you know it you will of created a new neurological pathway in your brain for meditating and it will eventually become a habit.

Start experimenting with longer times and different types of mediations such as transcendental meditation, walking meditations and many others.

Check out these to get some ideas and find the type that works for you.

Because like everything in life one size does not fit all!

South Downs way

How to Meditate using the breath.

  1. You will want to go somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed.
  2. Get comfortable. You can either sit or or lie down whichever feels more comfortable for you. Just make sure you are supported with cushions and if you want covered by a blanket.
  3. Set a timer on your phone. You can start small with 2 or 5 minutes gradually building this up.
  4. Focus on your breath, try to concentrate on just your inhales and exhales and quietening your mind. If you want you can count the breath in and out using a box technique for 4 seconds or if you are trying to calm an anxious mind try inhaling for 4 through your nose and following the breath out your mouth for 6 seconds.
  5. Scan up and down your body breathing into any areas you feel you are tensing.
  6. Notice if your mind has wandered off and bring it back to your breath.
  7. Once the timer has gone off I like to bring my attention to my finger tips, gently rubbing them along the tip on my thumb wriggling my toes then coming back to the rest of my body.
  8. Find gratitude for taking this time to yourself.

Please note meditation does not work for everyone and if meditation is not for you then that’s ok.

Try to explore other methods of mindfulness to calm your mind and nervous system such as yoga, visualisation, walking, being out in nature, journalling and colouring.

I’d love to hear about any experiences you’ve had or which type of meditation is your favourite, let me know in the comments below 💌