Meditating and the benefits
We have all heard of meditating, some people meditate every day, as part of living a more mindful life, others during exercise classes such as Yoga or T’ai Chi. Other people think it’s just not for them, maybe they are not sure of the benefits, they don’t have time or maybe they simply don’t believe in meditation.
What I would like to do is explain a little more about it and the benefits.
When I started meditating over a year ago, one of the first things I discovered was that my mind seemed to be crazy. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t stop my thoughts. I thought I was a bad meditator and nearly gave up.
I learned that meditation wasn’t about stopping your thoughts, but rather about becoming more aware of them and getting better at letting them go.
Meditation can take anything from just a few minutes up to a 45 min sitting meditation or body scan to the hours and hours of meditation that some monks still practise, even today.
One of the meditations that my clients favour is the 3 step breathing space. It's roughly 3 minutes, but you can make it briefer or longer. It's often referred to as the 3 minute mediation .
It's a pocket sized meditation , one that you can do anywhere. A simple way of taking time just to calm and refocus in times of stress. May be used to remove yourself from a stressful situation or confrontation, before a difficult conversation or even to deal with a child's tantrum.
Try it, it’s just 3 steps
STEP 1- Close your eyes and ask yourself "What's up right now? " "What are you thinking", if anything, "What are you feeling ? " simply checking in, you don't need to answer every question, just become more mindful of what's up for you, right now, treat it lightly -simply acknowledging whatever emerges.
STEP 2- Coming to the breath -having acknowledged what's up right now, gently but deliberately redirect your attention to the breath, taking deep mindful breaths, focusing on each in breath and each out breath. Just breathing, just following the breath and staying with the sensations that come with each in breath and each out breath.
STEP 3- Moving out again-Now expand your awareness to include the breath and a sense of the body as a whole -breathing . Just being aware of whatever is here:the breath, the face, the body. Breathing into any tensions that may be here, opening and softening, allowing... then when you are ready, open your eyes and gradually being to re engage with the world around you.
The Benefits of meditating
Once I started meditating regularly were I noticed:
My inner mind chatter calmed down
I was less emotionally reactive and better at bouncing back from life’s challenges
I became more present and focused in all aspects of my life
I felt more confident and courageous and made decisions that fuelled deep fulfilment
I could be more assertive in relationships and not so afraid of what others thought
I started to take healthy risks and step out of my comfort zone (like resigning from a job that was not fulfilling me to pursue my passion, or leaving an unfulfilling relationship and discovering real love)
I was managing my stress more effectively and becoming more patient
If you would like to learn about Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation, why not join an 8 week programme, here in Doncaster, or a weekly meditation class. Message me for details of the next courses in March & April 2019.
Mindfulness Master Practitioner and Self Care coach.