I was never really into the “hippy-dippy”, “woo-woo” stuff until I tried meditating. My anxiety was making my insomnia very bad and I was desperate to find some consolation for my tired mind.
I turned to meditation as a last-ditch effort to find a way to quiet my mind and get myself to sleep. Before I knew it, I was hooked. I meditate every night before bed and I have never slept as soundly as I do now.
Incorporating meditation into your day can seem scary at first – how can I be alone with my thoughts? What if my foot falls asleep? What if my nose is itchy? What if I get distracted? These are all normal questions, and truthfully, I still think about these things.
Having a meditation practice is as easy as these 5 steps.
1. Find a comfortable position that you can stay in for the duration of your meditation. I prefer lying down, but sitting cross-legged or in hero’s pose is just as good.
2. Start by focusing on your breathing – the rise and fall of your belly, the length of your inhales and your exhales. This will calm your mind.
3. Choose to either be alone with your thoughts or use a guided meditation. (I find all of my meditations on YouTube – free and easy to use).
4. Start with a short session – 2 to 5 minutes. When this length of time becomes easy for you, increase your time to 5 or 10 minutes, and so on, or stay right where you are.
5. Explore different variations – silence, music, audio recording, sleep-talk downs. The Internet is full of so many options. Do not limit yourself.
Studies have shown that meditation can actually change your brain by reducing activity in the part of the brain responsible for mind-wandering, improving concentration and attention, and even reduces anxiety!