We’re constantly hearing about the positive effects of meditation, from increased focus and concentration to banishing anxiety, stress and insomnia – alongside a whole host of other benefits. But the idea of sitting in silence, regulating your breathing, and having to set aside time in your day to do so is daunting – if not seemingly impossible. Yet, taking just a few minutes a day to sit and breathe can have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing. In order to learn how to fit meditation into a hectic routine, we spoke to meditation expert Will Williams…
Make It Yours
Listen to your body and mind; are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you need to relax before work, after, or both? Switch up your practice and see what feels right for you. You don’t have to spend an hour sat cross legged in order to meditate, meditation for you could be sitting quietly for ten minutes whilst focusing on your intention for the day.
Choose Your Technique
There are many different types of meditation, but for those with busy lives and hectic schedules, Vedic meditation is ideal. The technique was developed for people with chaotic lives and doesn’t require practitioners to stop thinking and sit still. Instead, simply sit comfortably in chair with your eyes closed, and allow your mind to become increasingly quieter.
Do It Anywhere
One of the best things about meditation is that it is free and portable. You can do it sitting up in bed before your morning cup of tea, whilst you’re waiting for you dinner to cook, or on the train to work – making a morning commute more bearable.
Combine It With Your Routine
Meditating in the morning is a fantastic way to start your day and ensure that you're operating with a more focused, creative and productive mind. Don’t have time? Meditating in the evening helps clear the body and mind of stresses you’ve picked up throughout the day and improves your sleep quality, so you’ll wake up feeling truly refreshed. Find what works for you.
Think About The Benefits
We set aside time for things we view as beneficial, so keep the effects of meditation in mind. As well as boosting overall wellness, it can help you navigate difficult situations and manage stress. If you're having a particularly demanding day, escaping to a meeting room or the park at your lunch break for a meditation session will leave you feeling revitalised and refreshed, improving your efficiency and concentration.
Keep It Short
If lengthy meditation sessions work for you, then carry on, but for beginners, they can often be daunting. Twenty minutes is the ideal length of time, but start with whatever feels comfortable – five minutes is doable for most – and work up to twenty.
Simple tips on how to get started:
Find a quiet space where you can sit up with a straight back, be still and not be disturbed for around twenty minutes. This could be sitting up in bed, on your commute or in the local park.
Begin silently repeating a mantra (a Sanksrit sound) in your head for the duration of the meditation – try ‘So hum’ or ‘Om’ to start with.
End your meditation with two minutes of breathing without using the mantra.
When meditating, use a watch rather than your phone (technology over-stresses the nervous system) to keep an eye on the time.