The art of meditation

meditationin this chaotic world filled with work, friends and family it can be difficult to find the time tune in to nothingness and let go but the health benefits of meditation are well documented. Research has shown that even a few minutes of meditation daily can alleviate depression and anxiety, reduce blood pressure and stroke risk and reduce pain. Meditation helps to reduce the activity of part of the brain called the amygdala, which governs feelings of stress.
Here are some tips to master the art of meditation…

Commit to quiet

Even if it’s only for a few minutes, try to dedicate time every day for meditation. Force yourself and before long it’ll become a pleasant interlude to your crazy busy day.

Set the mood

Try to ensure you meditate in a peaceful environment free of noise and distractions. Light a stick of sandalwood incense and use a candle as your point of focus. The flickering flame can be a powerful point of focus for a beginner.

Experiment

Sitting cross legged in a yogi pose might not be for you. Try lying down, sitting in a comfy chair. Experiment with your eyes open and closed. You’ll soon find the right position for you.

Time yourself

If you set a gentle alarm you won’t spend your whole session fretting about how much time has passed. Try to select a relaxing tone so you  don’t undo all your relaxation.

Learn to breathe

Breathing deeply slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles and focuses the mind. Start with a few slow, deep breaths – inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. As your breathing becomes deeper and slower, focus your attention on every breath. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. Try to make your exhalations longer than your inhalations.

Don’t give up

It’s perfectly normal to experience “mind clutter” while meditating.  In any one thirty-minute session of meditation we may have upward of three hundred thoughts.  The advice – if you can’t clear your mind, don’t sweat it.