How Can I Start a Regular Meditation Practice?
Meditation is one of those things that you hear so much about these days that it's really important to think about the how and the why.
The basic idea of meditation isn’t to clear your mind, which is very often the myth that people hear.
The idea of meditation is to train our awareness on a certain topic or a certain point. It's focusing our awareness perhaps on our breath in the first instance, when we're starting out. So, bringing our awareness to that and continuing to keep our awareness there will help us to train that concentration.
When we're more practised, the benefits to us are huge. It helps us to concentrate on the tasks that we need to do in our day. It makes us more productive. It can help us to be more sociable and better engaged with people because we can concentrate and mindfully listen to others and engage in conversation, in business conversations and meetings. People are generally more productive when they practice meditation and Mindfulness. It has been proven that people who practise Mindfulness are a lot more amenable to new things and they have less confrontation, because people can mindfully engage with each other.
Certain structures in the brain change when we meditate. It takes us out of our amygdala and limbic system, which are the emotional centres of the brain and takes us to the prefrontal cortex, which is actually the thinking part. So, it helps us plan and helps us to do a lot more of the executive functioning in the business side of our real life. So, there’s a huge amount of benefit to be had from meditating each day.
If you wanting to start a practice of meditation, it's really good to think of it like any other habit because it’s the regularity of it that makes it easier to do. We want to get it so it's automatic. So that you don't have to think about it. It's not seen as a chore. So, it's always very useful to link it to something that you're already doing, this is a form of association. So, if you're doing something as a matter, of course, each day, if we link it to that, we're more able to remember and then eventually, automatically, we will do our meditation.
The other thing to notice is that actually, it's better to do a meditation in the mornings because our mind is naturally going to be a little bit clearer than if we were to start in the afternoon. So, if we think about those two elements, thinking about how or what it is that we do in the morning regularly. Some people might put the kettle on to make a cup of tea or it might be that the first thing you do is clean your teeth or it might be popping to the loo, you know, whatever it is that you do and you do it regularly, every morning. You could attach the practice of meditating to that so that when you go and put the kettle on, for instance, you then put your tea onto brew and then sit to meditate.
It's also good to have the same place to meditate in, so that you get used to that position and that place and to reduce any distractions so that everybody in the household still knows that that's your special place and that's what you're doing. So, they're less likely to come and say, you know, ‘Is this your tea on the side?’ while you're meditating. You don't want those distractions when you're learning to meditate.
Having a regular time to do it, a regular space and attaching it to something that you're already doing will help you to start the practice of meditating regularly.
If you want to have a conversation about meditating, please get in touch through my social media or through my website, evolve-psychotherapy.co.uk