During these crazy and unprecedented times, mind health is more important than ever. Here are few tips to guide through Meditation
You don’t need a tent on a mountainside, just find a space in the house where you feel comfortable enough to sit with yourself – a bit of background noise is ok.
Start small and work your way up to longer sessions over time. First-timers, shoot for three to five minutes.
Find your comfy space – sitting on the floor, lying down, in a chair. If you choose a chair, keep your back straight, your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting comfortably in your lap.
When starting meditation, you may find it easier to practice a guided meditation — this will take the guesswork out of what to do and when to do it. The Department of Health has made some resources free during the Coronavirus lockdown. Otherwise, try an app like Headspace or Calm.
By closing your eyes, you allow your focus to turn inward. If you feel more comfortable keeping your eyes open, try gazing softly at one object. This will still allow you to focus your attention.
You might choose your breath as your object of focus – breathe naturally as you rest your attention on your breath, and notice the gentle rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. Or you might focus on your body and slowly move your attention through different parts. Or, you could choose to focus on the sounds around you. Experiment and find a method that works.
Remember, it is completely normal to get distracted, whether by thoughts, emotions, sounds or sensations. Every time you notice you’re distracted, gently bring your attention back to your chosen object of focus – over and over again.
Contrary to what many people think, meditation is not about stopping thoughts. Instead, it’s about changing our relationship to our thoughts. We become less bothered by them and get better at noticing when we’ve become distracted and bringing our attention back to what we are focusing on. With practice, your thoughts will begin to settle as you meditate. Don’t try to force it to hard.
Above all else though, don’t be hard on yourself. Take your time with it, and once you start to get the hang of it, keep going. It’ll be an awesome skill to have for when you can actually sit cross-legged in a teepee on a mountain-top.