Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in cultures around the world. It’s used to help calm the mind and suppress wandering thoughts. The techniques used during meditation have a number of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits that are backed by scientists, philosophers, religious leaders, and spiritual gurus alike.
Most meditation forms primarily emphasize breathing, stillness, and mindfulness to achieve a higher state of relaxation and focus. Meditation is often used in place of or in conjunction with other forms of healing, like a gratitude practice, to reduce stress and improve overall health.
Meditation is not just for yogis and spiritual seekers; it’s for everyone. In fact, meditation is used by some of the most successful CEOs, executives, and celebrities, from Arianna Huffington to Oprah Winfrey to Jerry Seinfeld. Meditation continues to grow in popularity for a good reason ~ the lasting effects positively impact one’s health.
Some of the many benefits of meditation include:
- Emotional health improvement
- Reduced stress, worry, and anxiety
- Increased patience, relaxation, and mental focus
- Improved energy levels and productivity
With the many benefits and endless resources and tools out there, it is definitely worth adding meditation to your wellness toolkit. Here are three simple tips to help you start your meditation practice today:
1. Be Comfortable
Part of meditation requires finding stillness, beginning with the body. When you start your meditation practice, find a place that you can feel comfortable in – a chair, a couch, a pillow or anywhere you find peaceful or even lie down on your bed.
2. Start Slow in Duration
Once you find a comfortable place, sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing ~ feel your belly and chest rise when you exhale and inhale. The key is to start slowly. Try for 2-5 minutes each day and gradually build up your practice. It takes commitment and dedication to develop a consistent practice.
Don’t know how or where to fit meditation into your day? Try adding meditation to your morning routine – when you wake up, meditate for a few minutes then go on with your day, it’s a great way to start your day. Alternatively, you could try meditating right before bed, which can even help you sleep better.
3. Try it with a Friend, Family Member or Partner
While meditation is typically an individual practice, some things are more fun with friends, a family member or your spouse and it can also feel easier to start out with an accountability partner. So grab a friend, spouse, your child or sibling who’s also intrigued by the idea of meditation.
Meditation takes time to build up a practice. Be kind and patient with yourself even if you try meditation for 1 to 2 mins, that is a great start. There are also tons of apps to download on your phone and resources out there to help you start including Calm and Insight Timer (Lulu’s personal favorite!). And if you’re interested and need some inspiration, we invite you sign up for our FREE Learn to Meditate Challenge to help you cultivate a meditation practice.