Let’s face it; life in the 21st century is ‘V Busy.’ We race around from sunrise to sunset only to fall into bed totally exhausted and often too tired to sleep. Our minds are still active from the activities of the day and, instead of nodding off straight away our minds continue to process which leads to loss of sleep and periods of insomnia. Our body and our mind ends up being robbed of the recharge necessary to function at full capacity.
Frustration, anger, stress, low tolerance levels, illness and bouts of crying are only some of the warning signs that our body gives us and, we need to listen and make an effort to give it the rest it craves.
Meditation can be practised at any time of the day and even five minutes of quiet time in the middle of the day can help us to get through to the end. Meditation in the evening will help to relax the body and quiet the mind so that when you close your eyes you are ready to fall into a beautiful dream filled sleep and, when practised first thing in the morning it can set you up for the busy day ahead. The perfect time for meditating is whenever it suits you. It needs to fit in with your lifestyle.
So what is meditation anyway?
Meditation is a practice of continued concentrated effort upon a sound, an object or the breath. It reduces stress, promotes relaxation and enhances the functions of the body and mind. All it takes is fifteen minutes a day to improve your quality of life immensely.
So how do I practice meditation?
I used to think that I had to sit cross legged on a cushion with a straight back for hours on end and chant. I have to say that two of these things I struggled to achieve. Sitting cross legged and staying there for hours. I came to learn, after doing some research, that this is not necessarily the case. The way you choose to enjoy your quiet time is entirely up to you. The only rule is that you are in a quiet place free of any interruptions and trust me you will come to love the escape. When my children were little I had a sign made up that read; “Mummy’s Quiet Time – Do Not Disturb!” I would place this on the door and it didn’t take long before they grew to respect my need for this ‘me’ time. I have developed my own ritual over the years and I do not deviate unless I am in the great outdoors and wish to sit quietly in nature. My five steps to meditation are as follows;
- Light a beautifully scented candle and burn some incense
- Put on some relaxing music that plays softly in the background
- Sit in a comfortable position and ensure it is a position that I can hold for a period of time
- Take three deep slow breaths. In for five and out for five during which time I can feel my shoulders, my neck and the rest of my body relaxing. If I am especially tense I will repeat this process until I am fully relaxed
- I then put all my focus on my breath and let my thoughts come and go without giving them any attention. If my mind is racing and I am finding it difficult to ignore my thoughts then I count up to ten and back down again repeatedly until I am able to let my thoughts just come and go like the ocean tide.
Scheduling in some quiet time is the best gift you could give to yourself and your body and your mind will love you for it.
Susan Briggs is a Personal Development Specialist whose greatest joy is to help women over 40 discover the potential that is resident within them.
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If you don’t know how to meditate, Susan also offers one-to-one coaching, as she firmly believes this is one of the core strengths of her life as she has practiced meditation as a daily routine for many years.
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