Though difficult to master in the beginning, it is a practice now known to positively impact virtually all aspects of the modern life. Over 3,000 studies have shown correlations between meditation and lowered anxiety, improved sleep, better productivity, stronger memory and a decreased chance of suffering a heart attack.
Beyond this, it is also shown to help individuals make better business decisions and do better in school.
The most interesting part, however, is what the MRI reveals. After eight weeks of practicing, grey matter increases around the learning and memory part of the brain while it decreases around the anxiety and stress portion, proving the meditation has a physical impact as well.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a Tibetan monk to practice meditation. All it takes is the will to learn. Follow these simple guidelines.
1. A Tiny Amount of Time
All you need is 10 minutes every day. If you need help starting or figuring out what to do, there are some excellent beginning guides that break it down for you.
2. Lose the Distractions
It is absolutely necessary you find a place where you can be undisturbed for this 10 minute period. Turn off your phone or silence its notifications. Turn off all electronics. Lock the door. Do what you need in order to be left alone.
3. Comfort is Key
While you should not lie down (snoozing is not aloud), you should find a comfortable position to sit in for 10 minutes. If crossing the legs on the floor is troublesome, sit upright in a chair with your hands resting on your legs and feet flat on the floor.
4. Easy Focus
Be it your breathing or a picture on the wall, pick one thing to focus on the entire time. This will help you return to the moment should your thoughts wander.
5. Wandering Mind?
Meditation is simply practicing controlling your thoughts. That being said, it will definitely want to head in different directions during your first few attempts. Simply acknowledge the thoughts trying to enter and go back to your focus. If this is hard, you may need to learn to quiet your mind through other means, or practice one minute mindfulness to begin with.
6. Cool the Frustration
For many that are not in tune with their thoughts and emotions, meditation can lead to feelings of anger, frustration and boredom. These emotions are all okay. Embrace them for what they are – things everyone feels. Respect that they arrived and then get back to your focus.
Finally comes the hardest part, making meditation routine. Because sticking to something new is generally challenging, it works best if you attach it to something you already do on a regular basis. For instance, if you do a stretch routine following your workout, a quick meditation right after the stretch would be a perfect fit. You could even do it following your lunch on break.
When practice regularly, you’ll find yourself a master of your own mind in no time at all.
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