Meditation might get a bad wrap sometimes, given we’ve all seen a yogi sitting crossed legged about to levitate.. I’m exaggerating, but meditation is what you make of it. It literally just means to slow down your monkey brain and allow some space for still and calm thoughts to pass through. Meditation is NOT stopping your conscious brain from thinking (that is nearly impossible!), but rather slowing down the speed at which thoughts are circulating.
Meditation is meeting yourself exactly as you are. There’s no need to control your thoughts or figure anything out. There’s no need to perform or appear in any particular way. It’s welcoming the moment, just as you are. You may experience certain sensations while meditating such as lights, shapes or forms appearing before your closed eyes, and that is okay.
Meditation is both a developed skill and a lived experience that can positively impact your health and outlook on life. But there’s a hook to it – you need to practice regularly. Whether that’s only a few minutes a day, or a few times a week, sitting down and giving yourself permission to let go, breathe and recharge, can produce many health benefits.
Try box breathing which is a simple technique you can do anywhere, including at your desk. Before starting, sit with your back supported in a comfortable chair and feet on the floor.
- Gently close your eyes. Inhale through your nose while counting to 4 slowly. Feel the air fill up your lungs.
- Hold your breath while counting to 4. Try not to force yourself too much, simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.
- Begin to slowly exhale for 4 counts.
- Repeat this cycle 3 times.
Notice how you feel afterward, allowing your breath to return to its normal rhythm. Let me know if you want to learn more about mindful breathing or meditation.