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I have come to classify meditating as a bit of a Catch 22.
It’s something that you have no idea how badly you need it until you do it. You can have years of stressed out days and weeks and blow outs with family and friends before realizing that things don’t have to be that way.
You can so easily be a person who sees a positive in every situation, who is grounded with patience, and seemingly capable of more than your average human all by doing what you’re innately meant to do.
So how do you take your first step?
Meditation is not one size fits all. Everyone has a certain style that works best for them and it is those of us who have found our kind of meditation that are the ones preaching to everyone that they have to start.
In the world of meditation there is seriously hundreds of different ways to get your silent time in, but they all come from three specific styles:
- Exactly that. Nothing but silence for however long you have chosen to make your meditation practice. A lot of silent meditations have a serious focus on your breathe and you can find a bunch of different breathing techniques just by doing a Google search.
- From relaxing music to pineal gland stimulating music-take your pick. There are heaps of different meditation soundtracks and it really is a matter of personal preference. Do you want to listen to the waves of the ocean, slow instrumentals, sounds of the rainforest, pretty much anything that isn’t hardcore death metal will make the cut. Youtube will seriously be your best friend in finding great meditation music.
- Affirmations and visual exercises are like vitamins for your mind. They can seem kind of strange sometimes but just trust in the process and soon you’ll be on the other end of it, convincing your friends that they need to hop on the meditation bandwagon. Again, Youtube will provide you with everything you could have wanted and more in the realm of guided meditations.
Figuring out your meditation style is more than half of the battle. Once you know what works best for your mind then you are a hop, skip and a jump away from having a healthy meditation habit. Just like with creating a work out routine, or eating better, you have to create the habit of meditation by imposing it into critical times of your day.
When is the best time?
Don’t get me wrong here. Meditation can happen anytime anywhere, but if you are just beginning there are three specific times that will work really well for you and will help you establish your new silent habit.
- Before doing anything else (Including going on your phone!), get your quiet time in. Your mind will be clear and naturally focused from having just woken up. Without those extra thoughts in your mind it’ll be easier to stay focused on your breath, the music, or the guide. There is no better way to start your day than with good intentions, a calm body, and a mind at peace.
- Before any big event or part of your day, whether it’s something positive or negative. Going into a negative event or part of your day with a calmed mind will change how you interact in the situation and may even show you that the situation isn’t as negative as you have presented it to yourself. Better yet, going into positive events or parts of your day with a focused mind helps to amplify the happiness and satisfaction that you are feeling in that moment. Getting a quick meditation in before work, class, picking up the kids, anything that will take over your focus, will help you to stay patient, positive, and relaxed.
- Bed time. Yes, adding one more thing to your nightly ritual seems annoying at first but it’s so, so, so worth it. Unraveling from a chaotic day with mindfulness is where you see your biggest changes. Notice the changes in your dreams and in your sleep cycle, and in the energy that you have when you go to bed. Be observant of the changes that are happening so that you can fully understand the benefits of your new practice.
Don’t get caught in the Catch 22. Start today so that you don’t have to waste another week, month, or year, feeling unsure, impatient, negative, and lost. Every day spent meditating is a day closer that you are to fully comprehend the positive effects that meditation has had on your life and your relationships as well as the choices that you make.
Be silent, be still, and trust in the powerful process of your new meditation practice.