Meditation and Mindfulness: 7 Tips to Finding Calmness
To this day, I encourage all my new clients to explore meditation, if they’re not already incorporating it into their daily lives. Meditation brings you to a place of calmness, clarity, and mindfulness that’s so vital for leading a life of purpose.
The most valuable lesson I learned about meditation is it’s not always necessary to do it the conventional way. You know, sitting on a cushion on the floor, cross-legged and “ohming” to your heart’s content. Yes, it’s great if that works for you. But, so often when it doesn’t work for a beginner to meditation they give up and let go of pursuing an incredible way of “living”.
I'm writing about meditation today because I want to keep you inspired and show you it can be done simply. it's a practice anyone (and yes, that includes you!) can do (not just the yogis) and it can be done in so many different ways.
I’m sharing some of my own personal tips to help you integrate meditation into your daily life so you can find a state of calm and mindfulness, no matter where you are.
1. Simple Steps to Start Meditating
I may as well start at the beginning! Here, I'm sharing how I started meditating and how simple it actually was. It all began in my bed. Yes, I know it’s not the best place to start if you’re prone to falling asleep the minute you lie flat (like my partner and our dog). But, it worked for me.
Step 1: Set the intention that you want to spend some time meditating before going to sleep. This sends the message to your mind that you’re not going to sleep just yet.
Step 2: If this is your first foray into meditation, set the timer on your mobile for five to 10 minutes. Make sure you turn off all notifications so you’re not disturbed.
Step 3: Lie down on your bed and get comfortable. Lay your arms down next to your body and close your eyes.
Step 4: Take three deep breaths from your stomach. Bring your attention to your breath.
Step 5: After the three initial deep breaths, normalize your breathing but make sure you’re breathing from the deepness of your stomach.
Step 6: With your attention on your breath, count each breath until you get to 100 and then count backward. By the way, the counting takes place in your mind. Repeat this until your timer goes.
Step 7: Slowly open your eyes, give thanks for the experience, and spend a minute or two reflecting on the process.
I used this process for five minutes in the first week. I then stepped it up to 10 minutes for a few days before stepping it up to 15 minutes. I can’t remember when I first slipped into a deep meditative state but from that day onwards, I no longer needed the timer. I was now meditating for up to an hour every evening.
2. Creating Your Own Place of Wellness
I started integrating mediation into my own life because I was doing inner work. It seemed only natural to use meditation to help me figure out why I behaved as I did and why my mind was so full of limiting beliefs. It also gave me a safe haven to go to when my external world felt too chaotic.
But, another wonderful tip I was given in my early days of exploring who I was, was to create my own Place of Wellness. This is my sanctuary where I go to when I need solace, to write in my journal, and to eventually continue my mediation practice.
I recommend everyone creates their own Place of Wellness. It can be a room of your own, filled with all your own special goodies or it can be a little nook in your bedroom or even outside in your garden. I have a client who created her own special place in her garden and her family knows not to disturb her when she goes there.
I now meditate in my Place of Wellness, sitting in one of my armchairs. I always start with a little ritual. I turn off the lights, leaving only my salt lamp on (you’ll find some great salt lamps on Amazon including the Himalayan Glow Natural Pink Salt Lamp ). I give thanks to Great Spirit for the day that’s just passed. I light some incense and then close my eyes to start meditating.
If you find meditating on a cushion works for you, check out the following on Amazon. The beautiful Florensi Meditation Cushion and HIGOGOGO Large Bohemian Floor Pillow (don’t you just love the sound of this one?) are two examples of meditation cushions you can put in your Place of Wellness.
3. Using Guided Meditation, Music, and Drums
I prefer to meditate in complete silence. Most mediation music makes me sad and I don’t often turn to guided meditations. However, I always enjoyed the 10 minutes of guided mediation at the end of each yoga class I attended for a few years. I guess it was thanks to the wonderful and beautiful energy my yoga teacher gave off that I enjoyed hearing her voice during meditation.
I do know many of my friends and clients prefer to have guided meditation and Wayne Dyer’s guided meditations are popular choices. Try out his ‘I am Wishes Fulfilled” guided meditations.
I sometimes use the sound of drumming during meditation. Drumming helps you to journey into different places when meditating and I’ve used it often when I am doing healing work (both on myself and others). Have a look at the “Soaring Spirit – Native Drumming for Deep Meditation”.
If you’re battling to settle into meditation, then try out the different guided meditations and music that are available.
Watch this video to be inspired by drumming meditation. I love it!
4. Become Inspired by Others
I’m always reading books that help me on my journey of personal development. This includes seeking out books about meditation and mindfulness. One of the very first books that inspired me to take mindfulness seriously was Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself”. I’ve shared my hard copy out to many of my clients and friends, in the hope they’ll also be inspired.
Another book that caught my attention last year is Dr. Joe Dispenza’s “Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon”. Not only does this book give you different meditations to explore but it explains the science behind meditation and why it’s so powerful.
5. Try a Walking Meditation
If sitting for too long gets you jumpy, then try out a more active meditation. Walking meditation is a great way of finding some calm and clarity. In fact, Steve Jobs was a huge fan of walking to sort out a problem and come to a solution.
I often take early morning walks just before the sun rises. This is another opportunity I use to practice mindfulness. I allow my senses to take in the fresh energy of a new day, the sounds of the birds chirping, the scents from flowers blooming and the glorious sight of the sun rising over the horizon.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve returned home with an answer to a problem I was facing or a new insight into a situation. These walking meditations allow me to feel rejuvenated, inspired, and ready to start a new day.
6. Make the Time
Too often, we convince ourselves we don’t have the time to meditate. And, we think we have to do at least an hour to have an effective meditation. What if I was to tell you that even five minutes will bring you calmness and clarity? It’s true. If I haven’t taken my early morning walk, I then sit for five minutes and meditate before I start my day.
One of my clients likes to break up his day every hour and he meditates for one minute. He does this throughout the day, whether he’s sitting in his office or at home on the weekend. He sets a timer on his phone to go off every hour to remind him to meditate. He stops what he’s doing, closes his eyes, and switches off for a minute.
It’s worth finding the time to meditate, whether it’s for one hour or for five minutes. You’ll notice the difference in the way you think and live your daily life.
7. Don’t Resist the Thoughts
I’ve often heard people saying they gave up on meditation (or didn’t even start) because they were thinking too much. When they closed their eyes, they soon felt overwhelmed by the thoughts fighting to get their attention.
The secret here is to not give in to your thoughts. And, to not fight them either. I see my thoughts like a movie running through my mind. I see them, I acknowledge them and then I let them move on. I don’t allow myself to dwell on them.
The best way to do this is as soon as you find yourself engaging with your thoughts, bring your attention to your breath. You’re effectively taking your attention away from your thoughts and bringing it to your breath. Feel yourself breathing in and out until your mind clears.
Meditation has changed the way I look at life. It keeps me sane when the world around me is so uncertain. It helped me through some of my most difficult times in the past eight years but also led me to some of my happiest times.
I’m a calmer person with a better understanding of what drives me. But, most of all, meditation steered me towards my life purpose.
If you’re still exploring the idea of meditation, I say give it a go. It’s simple, powerful and one of the best gifts to give to yourself.
This post was originally published on January 6th, 2021, and updated on January 19th, 2022.
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