Why meditation is easier than you think
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Meditation can be the key to opening the gates to new potential; it helps with reducing stress, controlling anxiety, enhances self-awareness and lengthens attention spans. Meditation makes waking up for work easier and it increases your serotonin levels – automatically setting you up for a successful day. It’s the art of connecting with yourself over and over again, processing your thoughts and increasing emotional intelligence along the way – but what actually is meditating?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, meditation by definition is ‘the practice of sitting and thinking deeply in silence, especially for religious reasons or in order to make your mind calm’. Most first time meditators will find it strange to sit in silence with their innermost thoughts and feelings.
The most known process of meditating is straightforward and easy: simply stay still and practice. All you have to do is stay focused on your breathing, focus on one thing at a time and let your mind do its thing. This is the one skill where you don’t have to strive to accomplish something – just a place of soundlessness where no effort is required.
In 2019, sitting still and focusing can be extremely hard. With our busy day-to-day lives and connections through technology, we tend to forget that we need to take a moment and recuperate. You can meditate anywhere and everywhere – all you need is a phone, headphones and determination. Founder of Project Awesome Life and mindfulness coach, Emma Dredge, says: ‘Meditating doesn’t have to be a chore because it will become another thing on the to-do list. Also, there are many phone apps that make meditation accessible and fun!’
Project Awesome Life, or PAL for short, is a mindfulness class for corporate environments and it came to flourish after its founder started using mindfulness as a way to battle depression. Emma wasn’t looking for enlightenment and struggled to sit still for 10 minutes. ‘I realised that if I focus on one thing at a time then my inner saboteur won’t get the best of me,’ she laughs. ‘It will be boring the first time, but keep at it!
Five minutes of stillness every day are very doable. Instead of scrolling through Instagram just look out the window and breathe. ‘My students always go on about how busy they are,’ Emma continues, ‘but you can meditate in the office by boiling a kettle. Just switch it on and as the steam is rising, think about anything that’s worrying you and imagine it evaporating with the water. That’s pretty much the point of meditation – finding calmness in the simplest of things.’
3 Meditation apps to try
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1: Headspace Find calmness, wellness, and balance in your life with this app’s guided meditation and mindfulness techniques.
2: Calm This award-winning app has calming exercises, breathing techniques to help you relax, and even a Calm Kids section with meditations for 3 to 17-year-olds.
3: 10% Happier This app was designed for sceptics to help you keep going, so new content added weekly keeps meditation from becoming a chore.