You may not want to hear this but, meditation is not always easy. It can be quite hard to settle down. But, don’t fall into the hype that you can’t do it, because you can! Here are 5 tips to encourage you meditate and honor your body’s needs at the same time.
1. Find a space that makes you feel safe.
Whether you are in your home, in the car, at the store, in the shower, eating, enjoying nature or lounging on the couch you can meditate. Get rid of the idea that meditation must be in a quiet place or just in a yoga room full of candles and books. Meditation can be practiced anywhere. Find a place that resonates with your heart and mind. Ensure that this place provides safety and bravery as you meditate here. Sometimes there will be noise and other times it will be quiet. This place where you meditate can be a place where you seek solace suddenly or timely planned. The place that invites you in to breathe and find peace is where you can meditate, that is anywhere.
2. Focus on your breath
As long as you have breath you have purpose. It is a myth that you must have this eloquent and well thought out stanzas or prayer-like verbiage to meditate. The practice of meditation is to encourage intentional breathing and body and mind awareness. Release the idea that you must have the right words at the right time to meditate. Often you don’t need any words and a lot of times all you need are short phrases like mantras to practice. Simply focus on your breath. Is your breath long? Is it short? Do you feel your breath moving within and releasing from your body? What do you notice about your body? All it takes is stopping to ensure that our body is breathing, being present and mindful. There are many breathing techniques that you can test out and see which identifies best with your body’s needs. From equal breathing, to counting your inhales and exhales, or practicing belly breathing there are a plethora to try. Focusing on your breath is the most important part of a meditation. The exchange of oxygen and CO2 is essential in finding peace and releasing stress during a meditation. It single handly (or breathly LOL) encourages your mind to slow down, restore and recharge.
3. Stop criticizing yourself.
Stop it! We love you just the way that you are. Stop criticizing yourself for what you look like as you meditate or for choosing a “simple” meditation to practice. Release the constant comparisons of what your body needs as you meditate versus what social media forces upon you. Remember to always honor your body’s needs before anyone else’s. Meditation is unique to you and while meditation is never perfect, it is just right for you. If you are feeling frustrated or stressed, allow your meditation to focus on that. Let go of those negative emotions and focus on building strength and confidence to move past the stressors and frustrations. We are all enduring many different forms of trauma, stress and experiences! It is important to acknowledge your feelings and know that your feelings are completely valid.
4. Make sure your seat is cozy.
Remember when I said stop the comparisons? Well, I mean it. Stop it! Release the expectations that you need a fancy meditation pillow or prop to mediate. All you need is your body and your breath. When you find your safe space to meditate make sure your seat is cozy. Grab blankets and pillows from your home and place them under you or around you to add comfort to your safe space. You can even stand or lay in that amazing hammock outside if you’d like. News flash! You can meditate anywhere and do it how you want. So, make sure that wherever you are it is comfortable and nice just for you.
5. Think about what you need in the present moment.
To get started with your meditation can be quite the daunting task. We have various apps and books that have laid out these awesome meditations for whatever we may need. And I actually love them! My favorites right now are the Rise and Flow meditations and Insight Timer! With these apps you should never run out of ways to meditate. But, when you are doing this independently and really want to turn inward being mindful of what your body needs, create your own! Think about what you are feeling right now. What do you need to improve your day? Are you wearing or talking about your stress? Think about these questions and then find a focus for your meditation like below:
Think about what you are feeling right now: I feel lonely!
What do you need to improve your day? I need interaction and relaxation to improve my day.
Are you wearing or talking about your stress? I am wearing stress in my lower back and have talked to a friend about it.
My meditation focus for today: “Where I stand I invite others to join me. Today I let my worry run free and stand firm in focusing on me.” - I will meditate on this.
Did you enjoy this blog? Tell us in the comments. Thanks for reading and happy meditating!