I heard a self-proclaimed guru explain the proper way to meditate on TV and thought, ‘Who would ever take advantage of the amazing benefits of meditation if they had to follow those strict rules?’ Not me. I say, “Screw the rules!” No need for flowers, crystals, candles or the lotus position. Now, if any or all of those work for you, go for it. Just don’t feel like you have to.
Science has proven that meditation boosts your health, improves your happiness, helps you regulate your emotions, increases your productivity and, it actually alters your brain for the better. You can’t beat that!
I know what some of you are thinking – ‘Ugh, I can’t sit still that long.’ No problem. Exercise, like running or walking, is a great way to meditate.
Once your ego shuts down during a work-out, your mind has a chance to wander away from your chaotic life. That’s one of the reasons working out feels so good. When you stop rehashing the latest work drama and ticking off your to-do list, your mind turns inward – what some call being in the zone. You may feel your breathing start to relax, or flow at a rhythmic pace. That’s when intuitive thoughts start to roll. They may be creative bursts, quiet inspirations or calming influences. Whatever they are, be grateful they’re gracing your workout and enhancing your world.
Another great time to meditate is when you wake up in the middle of the night. Without leaving the warmth of your cocoon, or stealing time from your busy day, it’s an easy way to focus on your breathing and allow your mind to slip away. No worries if you fall asleep, that’s why you’re between the sheets.
One more simple stress reliever is accomplished by visualizing yourself walking through a beautiful scene that you create. Maybe it’s a sea of sunflowers with a sherbet sunset. Who might you encounter along the way? A bird on a meandering path? An animal under a willow tree? What does the scene smell like? Do you feel the breeze against your skin? Are there leaves dancing at your feet?
No matter what scene you choose, it’s hard not to feel energized after giving your battered brain a mental vacation in meditation land.
Overall, the important thing to remember, whether your goals are mental, physical or spiritual, is that meditation doesn’t have to be hard. Do what works for you. Before you know it, calming your inner world will cause you to react less to your outer world. Which means, less drama. Less stress. Who knows, within weeks you could be practicing guru techniques.