Meditate Your Way to Happiness
Imagine being happier by taking 2 minutes a day to meditate. Yep, 2 minutes only. Really.
More and more, research is proving that a regular meditation practice lowers stress, anxiety and blood pressure levels while increasing attention, focus, calmness and a sense of peace.
While most people meditate longer than 2 minutes, even 2 minutes can help. For those two minutes you aren’t multitasking and therefore you’re giving your brain a stress break.
See? A happy making situation.
“I can’t meditate because I can never stop my thoughts.”
This is the biggest complaint I hear from people when I tell them how meditation not only keeps me grounded but helps me deal with stress.
Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts. It is about being aware of them but not engaging in them.
You will never be able to totally stop your thoughts. If you didn’t have thoughts, you wouldn’t be breathing. You would be free of stress though 😉
When a thought comes to mind, and it will, just observe it. Watch it like you would a train going by. It comes into your field of awareness and passes out of your field of awareness. Don’t engage it.
What do I mean by not engaging in the thought? For example, you are meditating and think “I have to go to the grocery store today.” Rather than diving into that thought further with “And I have to pick up bread, mayonnaise, cereal, etc.” just imagine the thought moving by. There will be a different one right behind it. Do the same for that one, too.
With practice, will get better at this and your thoughts will slow down.
If you can start and sustain a meditation practice you won’t regret it and you will be happier.
Here are 5 of my tips that I hope will help you.
- Don’t worry about “doing it right”. This is everyone’s worry. If you are sitting in stillness and silence, you are meditating correctly.
- Start small. Don’t try to meditate for 30 minutes your first time out. That’s like trying to run a marathon on your first outing. Start with 2 minutes a day. You can work up from there.
- Don’t beat yourself up for engaging in your thoughts. It’s going to happen. It happens to everyone. Just pull yourself out of your thought and refocus on your breathing or your mantra.
- Don’t worry about what others are doing. Deepak Chopra meditates for 2 hours everyday. Ha! That’s never going to be me. I experimented and learned 20 minutes is just right for me and that’s all I care about.
- Don’t give up! Everyone’s time is precious but if you stick with a regular practice, it will make a huge difference in your life.
There are many different types of meditation. You can sit in silence and listen to your breathing. You can silently repeat a mantra to yourself. You can focus on an image. You can listen to music. And so on.
Here are a few places to learn more about a few of the different types of meditation practices
Primordial Sound Meditation http://www.chopra.com/ccl/what-is-primordial-sound-meditation
(The Chopra Center also offers free Meditation experiences a few times a year. I’ve done many of them and highly recommend them. One of my favourites was called “Finding your Flow” and was based on the 7 Chakras.)
Mindfulness Meditation http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness/
(These are free mindfulness mediations you can try. I haven’t tried them nor have I read the related book. This was a referral in Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive”)
Your public library. Libraries usually carry a number of books and cds on mediation. You can try out several at no cost!
Do you meditate? How has it helped you? We are interested in hearing about your experiences. Please comment below, on our FaceBook page or on Twitter.
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