Welcome dear soul,
Meditation is a great way to boost your health, improve your mood, and feel more connected to those around you. But it can be difficult to figure out how to get started.
Meditation is no instant quick-fix to solving all of life's problems. As with any other form of exercise, meditation takes effort, and it takes time to reap the benefits. Approach each time to meditate as an opportunity to get to know your own mind better.
When you schedule a time of the day to meditate, it is easier to establish the practice as a habit and you'll be more likely to do it each day. Your daily rituals and habits are you go back to on days you lack discipline. So make sure your rituals are ones that will always serve you.
3. Create a designated space to meditate
Choosing a room or a space to meditate can help train the body and mind to feel more comfortable, and allow you to more easily transition into meditation. It is also an opportunity to create a space that nourishes a more relaxed state of mind; for example, you could add plants, light a candle or burn sage to heighten your experience.
4. Take a couple moments to wind down and clear your mind
Jumping right into meditation may not be best. It might be harder to sit still and calm your mind after these stressful moments. So, try to take a few minutes to wind down, and then begin your meditation practice. This can help keep the mind from wandering back to something and allow you to focus more clearly. If your mind wanders, allow the thoughts to pass. Remember not to become your thoughts, you are just observing your thoughts and feelings and they will pass. Mastering your emotions, letting go of what no longer serves you and learning to allow passing thoughts (to just do that) pass you by. Takes time and consistent meditation to learn how to manage ones mind.
5. Start with a few deep breaths to calm the body
Taking a few deep breaths before you begin your meditation can trigger your body to relax. This is essentially the opposite of your nervous system's fight or flight response. When the fight or flight response is triggered, the body gets ready for danger, but when the relaxation response is stimulated, the body begins to feel safe and at ease. Paying attention to your breathing will be important throughout the meditation, and this type of mindfulness breathing can lower stress levels in the body. You do not have to over focus, just take not of the chest rising and falling and be at be at one with your breath. (We will cover mindfulness & mindfulness meditation techniques in our next blog post).
6. Try not to fidget or move too much during meditation
It's common to feel restless and want to change positions throughout your meditation. If it's too distracting or you're in pain, feel free to readjust. But try not to let your position become a distraction in itself. You are trying to master silence, peace, mindfulness and stillness.
7. Just breathe
Meditation does not have to be complicated. The essence of mindfulness meditation is simply about bringing your awareness back to your breath, over and over again. Focus on this technique 4x4x4 (inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4). After a week of meditation try 4x6x7 (inhale for 4, hold for 6, exhale for 7). You will master the art of managing your breathe. There are many different breathing exercises you can try. Some might work better for you than others. Use what ever technique serves you best.
8. Be kind to yourself — some days will be easier than others
Just like exercising, some days will feel easier than others. This could be due to the amount of sleep you had the night before, or the amount of stress you were under that week. Remember that it's a meditation practice — it's not always going to be perfect.
9. Slowly reintroduce movement after meditating
Once you're getting to the end of your meditation, you can gently begin to move your fingers and your toes, and then you can move your hands and feet, and stretch your arms or legs. You want to move into your next task with ease. Most people will work on simple stretching, whilst others will try some yoga poses to open the body and strengthen the muscles. Here at Crystal Luna with love chakra dancing so after some self love or let go meditation we like to slowly and gently move into heart chakra dance (We will cover chakra dance in due course).
10. Acknowledge your emotions
It's normal to feel happy after meditating, but it's also normal to feel a bit down. Meditation brings up good emotions, as well as emotions we are surrendering to let go. So we can better recognize what our emotions actually are, allow the emotions to come, and then allow them to pass. Perhaps even take a moment to thank yourself for practicing self-care, and be proud of the effort you took to meditate. Be thankful for new understanding of self, or focus on how light you may feel after releasing trauma or feelings that no longer serve us. (We often have to repeat our practise before we fully let go, and this normal).
11. Come back the next day, even if you don't feel like it
The power of meditation comes in creating a routine and making it a daily practice. In fact a study in 2018 found that meditating for 15 minutes every day promoted positive well being and reduced stress levels. The study concluded that daily meditation had a similar effect on the body to taking a vacation. So give yourself the freedom to meditate. Join a class or follow a mediation guide on an app or YouTube if you struggle to meditate alone.
We hope you find a new passion for meditation and that it brings you the peace and clarity you may be looking for, or simply the self knowledge and discipline to live a happier life.