When it comes to meditation, I think people have a slightly warped idea of what it actually is. People tend to picture someone sat, cross-legged, their hands in that little OK sign (gyan mudra) in perfect silence and peace.
But meditation isn’t always like that. Of course, if you can find peace and quiet for just ten minutes at some point during the day, then take that time to sit alone with your mind and body. If you can’t, then there are ways around it. But here’s what you do when you get there:
For me, I recommend Headspace. It’s a phenomenal app that offers so much more than just a guided meditation. They cover almost any issue that you can think of, there are programmes for health related things like depression, anxiety and stress; and then there are more niche ones like anger, productivity, acceptance, focus and they even have a section on sport. They even have ones for being on the move. You can meditate whilst walking or even cooking. If you want to see a little of what they offer, then here’s a ten minute guided meditation:
I will admit that meditation can be a little difficult to get into at first. Rachel, my wife, tried it, immediately didn’t like it and hasn’t tried it since. She lasted one session. I dare say you can manage a little bit longer. It’s entirely up to you, but I do suggest you at least give it ten sessions.
Meditating With a Baby
Since I write a baby blog, and this is going on my postnatal depression toolkit, it’s probably a good idea to relate this to actually having a baby.
You may say that you don’t have time to meditate, or you’re never alone as you’re always with the baby. But you can do this whilst you are with the baby, you can do this whilst the baby is screaming, you can do this at any time during the day. Just remember this: It all starts with the breath.
If you want an extremely simple practice for meditation, just count your breaths; in and out, up to ten, and start again. Try not to let your mind wander, but if it does, just notice that you’ve wandered, and bring it back to the breath. It’s actually quite hard to do this for a long period of time at first. You will day dream. But if you keep it going, you will help to instil a sense of calm, and it’s something you can go back to in a moment of crisis.
When you practice this enough, and you find yourself in a stressful situation, say for example your baby won’t stop screaming, just returning your mind to the breath can help bring that calm feeling back to the forefront.
Meditation for Self Care
Out of all the things in the toolkit, meditation really is something that I feel everyone can benefit from. You don’t even have to be suffering from any form of depression or mental health condition. Incorporating this practice into your life can help you maintain mental balance, and also help to improve yourself in general as a person.
It’s an incredible way to help keep yourself in check, to address any issues you have as they arise and keep your mental health under constant observation. Here are just some of its benefits:
There’s no harm in giving this a try. You’re not going to lose out on anything. The worst case scenario is that you’ve just sat somewhere quiet for ten minutes, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to forget about it. But it’s about having it there in place as something to fall back on if you feel yourself slipping. That’s what meditation is for me. I don’t always do it, at least not via Headspace in a direct manner. I can easily go a few months without using the app (it doesn’t help that it takes up a lot of space) but I do try to keep up the practice intermittently throughout the day.
If you want other suggestions to try to go alongside this, then feel free to check out the Toolkit I’ve made.