I used to lie to people and pretend that I could meditate "correctly," as I understood it - I saw people sitting cross-legged, making little circles with their middle fingers and thumbs. I heard them saying things like "OMMMMMMM..." and they sure seemed to be getting some inner peace from that practice.
I wanted inner peace, too. So I gave it a shot.
Over the course of my teens and early 20s, I found myself starting and giving up on countless meditation practices - none of which actually worked for me.
I figured maybe it just wasn't for me - as do a lot of people who are "high-energy" like me. I gave up, moved on and tried affirmations instead. (They TOTALLY work, by the way).
But it wasn't enough.
I struggled until a few years ago when I finally learned that for me, meditation is more about quieting my mind and less about quieting my body. For some reason, I prefer to pace or walk when I'm focused (or unfocused, as the case may be) on anything that requires mental clarity.
That's because I'n not a "sit still" kind of person - and until I understood that and accepted it about myself, I couldn't evolve to the next level. So I've adapted and learned to use a sort of "walking meditation" most of the time - it just works for me.
4 Different Ways to Meditate
With that in mind, I obviously understand that everyone's different and that means that different kinds of meditation can work for different people.
That's why I'm offering up several different ways to meditate - including one with kids What kind of meditation works best for you? Not sure? Try one of these and see if it feels right to you. They are all free and you can read them immediately upon clicking the links.
- Glass-Inspired Meditation Triggers
- Desert Focused Meditations
- Refocus With Walking Meditation
- Meditation WIth Kids
And for a bit of brain food, while you're at it: 199 Quotes to Inspire and Motivate You
10 Seriously Profound Life Changes You Can Get From a Regular Meditation Practice
It's not a new concept - we all know that meditation has been around for thousands of years - but in recent decades, it's seen a huge resurgence as people realize the potential benefits.
Even the conservative medical community is singing the praises of meditation - there are several recently-published studies that prove its benefit to our health.
Even better? Meditation is a simple (not to mention free) tool that can literally change and seriously enhance your life in many ways.
Have you tried meditation before? If not, or if you tried it in the past and didn't continue or decided against it, now is the time to reconsider. What else takes so little effort and can create such a significant change in your life?
Don't believe me? Consider the following facts about meditation and how it relates to your health - both mental and physical.
1. Meditation can BOOST your self-esteem and generally increase self-confidence. Meditation can help to remove self-doubt and self-criticism. You will become more accepting of your shortcomings. When you are able to accept yourself, you believe that others will accept you, too.
2. Meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety. During meditation, you focus on something to the exclusion of all other thoughts. It's not possible to feel stressed about your finances or your love life when 100% of your attention is focused on something else. You develop the ability to regulate and moderate your emotions through meditation.
3. Meditation teaches you about yourself. We all possess a certain amount of blindness when it comes to our thoughts, behaviors, and tendencies. Meditation encourages self-examination and detachment - and this offers you a crazy-accurate view of yourself - if you can handle it.
4. Meditation opens your eyes to the real truth. Meditation seeks to remove all of your preconceived ideas and put your emotions on the back burner. Without the influence of your beliefs and emotions, it's much easier to catch a glimpse of reality. Your ability to make effective and intelligent decisions will grow.
5. Meditation offers a brain-break. Your brain is constantly working. There's not one moment of the day your brain isn't running at full speed. Even while you're dreaming, your brain is busy creating your dreams.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Once you learn to meditate in a way that works best for you, your brain will finally get a chance to rest. You'll be SHOCKED when you see how good just five minutes of meditation can feel. A lot of people who regularly meditate say that they find that one minute of meditation per hour is very beneficial.
6. Meditation can improve focus and concentration. Most forms of meditation require focusing on a thought or object, commonly your breath. All of this concentration practice will bleed over into other parts of your life. You become good at what you practice.
7. Meditation can make you open your mind and make you more accepting of others. When you're more able to see your own shortcomings compassionately, you'll extend that same compassion to others. What would happen if everyone took the time to meditate?
8. Meditation can LITERALLY make you live longer! SERIOUSLY. Meditation has been shown to slow the aging process, both physical and mental. It's possible this could increase longevity. At the very least, you'll feel, look, and think better!
9. Meditation will increase your creativity. By eliminating your negative thoughts and beliefs, you'll have greater access to your creative abilities. Lower levels of stress also increase the opportunity to put your mind to good use. You might be a lot more creative than you've given yourself credit for in the past!
10. Meditation can make you PHYSICALLY healthier (yes, directly and literally). In a 2008 study, 40 of 60 patients were able to eliminate the need to take blood pressure medication after learning to meditate. Meditation has also been shown to enhance the function of the immune system. Consider that one of the signs of aging is a decrease in immune function.
So, what are you waiting for? Get busy and SLOW down for a minute - meditate and take in the health benefits.
Like I said before, meditation is one of the most powerful self-development tools available.
And just a quick meditation session each day can provide profound results.
Still not convinced?
I feel ya. Just do me a favor and commit to 5 minutes of meditation per day for 30 days. If you successfully complete this experiment, you're almost guaranteed to see significant life changes of your own.
What do you think? Do you have a regular meditation practice? What works best for you? Leave your thoughts below or hit me up on Facebook.