With new technology meaning we’re constantly switched on and connected it can be hard to find the time to regroup and take some time to ourselves. With modern life being so fast-paced, more people are trying meditation, training the mind to achieve a state of consciousness. Some followers even find it reduces their blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels.
The practice has built up a strong celebrity following, with Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Halle Berry amongst stars who credit meditation with keeping them calm and balanced. However, the idea of training the mind can seem rather daunting, so we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know if you want to try meditation.
Angelina Jolie practises the art of meditation
Try and set aside a certain time every day to practice - even just ten minutes will be enough.
Try to stick to your scheduled sessions but don't be hard on yourself if you have to miss one - if you're in a hurry and worried about time, it's unlikely you'll be able to relax and enjoy the benefits.
It’s also important to note that you don’t have to clear your mind completely during meditation. It’s a common myth that the end goal is a blank mind - feeling relaxed is the main aim.
Finally, wear clothing that you feel comfortable in. It doesn’t matter what you wear, but you’ll find it harder to relax if your shoes are too small or your trousers are too tight.
Find a peaceful comfortable area where you won't be disrupted
Find a space where you can relax and won’t be disturbed, then settle into any position you find comfortable. You don’t need to cross your legs, sitting upright or lying down can be just as effective.
With your eyes closed, begin to concentrate on your breathing. Notice how your body moves when you breathe, from the rising of your chest to the flaring of your nostrils. If your mind begins to wander, try focus back to your breath.
Become aware of how your body feels and see if you can work out which parts of your body are feeling relaxed, and try and focus on what you can taste and smell.
Think back on your meditation session throughout the day
When you’re ready to continue with your day, take a few seconds to figure out what you’re going to do next. You don’t want to jump up and lose the awareness you’ve just achieved, so plan your next move, whether it's making a cup of tea or preparing to leave the house.
As the day progresses think back to the meditation session and see if you can create little moments of calm. There’s no need to repeat the exercise, but just taking a couple of deep breaths and taking the time to listen to your body can help with relaxation.
Everyone has a different way of meditating so try out different techniques and lengths of meditation time to find out what works for you.