Meditation is one of my new favorite things to do! It helps my anxiety tremendously. There have been two separate times last year where there was too much put on my plate. The sucky thing was everything was out of my control and everything had to be done all around the same time. I had no choice…well I did, but there would have been some major consequences that I didn’t want. So I did them and I survived!
If all this were to happen before I started meditating, I would have been so overwhelmed. Because of my anxiety I may have had a nervous breakdown! However meditation made it to where it was easy for me to focus on one task at a time. I’m not going to lie, I was still a little overwhelmed but I was nowhere near a nervous breakdown and I was able to keep my anxiety at bay. I was actually very proud of myself and thinking “Look at me handling all this!” I actually felt like Wonder Woman!
I feel so refreshed after I meditate and it feels so good on my lungs. I don’t know why this isn’t taught more because it has so many benefits. I think most people think it’s supposed to be this big spiritual woo woo thing that only spiritual people do. Which it definitely could be a spiritual thing, however even if you are not spiritual and don’t want to be, meditation can still be for you. There are so many scientific studies out there that have shown that there are some great benefits that you can get from meditation.
Benefits of Meditation
It reduces anxiety, depression and feeling angry.
Lowers high blood pressure.
Relieves muscle tension.
Lessens the chance of insomnia.
Increases happiness and gratefulness.
Can help with decrease cravings for cigarettes and alcohol.
Before I share all the steps of meditation, there are just a few more things I feel I should share.
I only know the basics when it comes to meditating, so that is what I am going to share with you. There are all sorts of different kinds out there, where you do different breathing exercises and different hand poses called mudras. This is something I may study more and share at a later time.
You may be thinking, “But Stacie, I can’t meditate….my mind is too busy for meditation!” My answer to that is meditation was made for people like you! It helps people like us who have over active minds to slow it down.
You can do meditation totally on your own, or you can do guided meditation. If you choose to do guided meditation, there are so many videos on YouTube that can help you out. My favorites are Rebekah Borucki (when I don’t have a lot of time, which is most of the time) or Jason Stephenson. I believe you can also find guided meditations on Pandora and Spotify. There are all apps. Popular ones are Calm, Headspace and Insight.
I also read 'You Have 4 Minutes to Change your Life', by Rebekah Borucki that went into details and helped a lot. If you get this book, I recommend getting the hard copy, because I find myself flipping through the pages.
Meditation is actually a lot easier than most people realize. It will probably be awkward the first few times and then it is amazing!
Steps for Meditation
1. First find a quiet spot where you will get no interruptions. My place is usually my bedroom.
2. Find a comfortable place where you can sit up straight. This can be on the floor, chair, car or couch. If you fall asleep easily the floor might be best for you. If you are on a couch or chair you can sit with your feet on the floor or you can sit with your legs crossed.
3. If you are sitting where you don’t have any back support, putting something like a folded up towel or pillow under the back part of your bottom will help you sit up straight.
4. Choose an amount of time you want to meditate for and set a timer. I usually only have the attention span to meditate for 10 minutes. Usually somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes is recommended, however if you are just starting out your can start for less, like 5 minutes....or even just 1 minute will help and gradually increase your time from there.
5. I am only going to go over two different mudra (hand) positions today. Place your hands on your thighs. Hands down is for protection and you are keeping your own energy. Hands up means you invite in energy around you.
6. Close your eyes.
7. This is where you are going to concentrate on your breathing. There are several different things you can do here. Just paying attention to your breathing makes a huge difference. At first, don’t try to control it, just pay attention to it. Now that you are paying attention, your breath will probably change on its own. You do want to make sure you are filling up your whole lungs. Sometimes people tend to take shallow breaths and only fill their upper lungs, especially when they are stressed. So imagine your whole lungs being filled. You can also count while you are breathing, I usually don’t because I feel comfortable doing my own thing. Just make sure you are taking slow and deep breaths. You can also have your mouth open or closed, whatever feels most comfortable to you (different breathing exercises will recommend different ways).
8. Be easy on yourself. You will have thoughts come into your mind. This is totally normal and okay. Every time this happens, just push it out of your mind and concentrate on your breathing again.
9. You can try to just clear you mind. Or you can do visualizations, like going to your happy place or imagining what your dream life looks like. Or I sometimes do mantras. My favorite is “Inhale love to myself, exhale love to anyone who may need it.” or “Inhale positive, exhale tension”. The list can go on and one! I love looking affirmations or mantras up on Pinterest, any positive message I may need that day.
10. At the end I love to put my hands together as if I am praying and give thanks, to God, the universe, my spirits guides, my guardian angles and/or whoever I think may be listening. You can thank whoever you believe in!
And there you have it! Steps on meditation! You can totally make your own, it is whatever you need.
Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash