In the last few years, meditation has become more and more popular. In fact, the number of people meditating has tripled in the last ten years. Many successful people, like Arian Huffington, Oprah Winfrey, or Tim Ferriss, state that meditation is among the most important influences for the amazing outcomes in their life. No wonder, as meditation has a number of positive effects. For example, it can improve:
- your attention span
- your productivity
- your ability to process and remember information
- your connection to and awareness of yourself
- your sense of inner calm
- your ability to relax and be tranquil
The great thing is that there are countless ways to meditate, so you just have to find your preferred way. To help you get started, here are five meditation practices you can begin with today, from super easy to more developed:
1. Take a breath
When hearing the word meditation, most people think about a monk sitting in total stillness for countless hours. But that is less than a fraction of the truth. Meditation is primarily all about mindfulness, and mindfulness is simply being aware of what already is. One thing that is always there is our breath. So if you feel intimidated by sitting down for a few minutes or can’t find the time, start with taking a mindful breath. You can set an alarm on your phone that rings every hour. Then, you pause whatever you are doing at the moment, listen in to your body, take a deep breath in through your nose, and a deep breath out through your mouth. Voilà, you have completed your mini-meditation.
2. Look for Meditations on YouTube
Sitting in silence for a longer period of time can be difficult in the beginning, so why not find some support on the internet? Just search for “10-minute meditation” and you will get thousands of results. But be sure to listen in and check if you like the narrator’s voice before you actually sit down and start meditating.
Here are three playlists To help you get started with your search:
3. Use an App
Another place where you can find guided meditations are through apps. The advantage compared to YouTube is that you can usually download your favorite sessions and access them offline. Besides well-known apps like Headspace and Calm, there are several less-known apps that are worth checking out, like Insight Timer (free) and Simple Habit.
4. Meditating in Silence
If you want to take your practice to the next level, I highly encourage you to try sitting down for a few minutes (or more 😉) in total silence. No guiding voice, only you, your breath, and your thoughts. Settle down and observe your breath or other sensations in your body. When a thought arises, notice it, then let it go and return to your breath. Remember: The goal is not to have no thoughts, but to become aware of them.
If you want to bring your meditation practice to a whole new level, I highly recommend joining a Vipassana retreat. Vipassana is a type of meditation. It derives from India and means “to see things as they really are.” During a 10-day retreat, you don’t speak and instead meditate for 10 hours per day. It might sound frightening, but it is life- and mind-changing for sure!
5. Loving kindness meditation
In this type of meditation, you cultivate Mettā, which can be described as benevolence, amity, and kindness. Usually, you visualize a person and send them kind phrases like “may you be happy” or “may you be free from suffering” over and over. With time, you will feel how your heart will open up and you will approach people more openly and lovingly. You can find out more about this powerful practice in this short video:
As you can see, you only need one breath to start implementing meditation in your life. Guided meditations, whether on YouTube or in an app, are the next step. And who knows? Maybe we’ll meet each other at a meditation retreat in the future. 😄
If you want to read more blogs about mindset and mindfulness read on here!