As more people struggle with the daily grind, anxiety, depression and stress, mindfulness meditation is packing a mean punch, especially for a practise adapted from a 2,400-year-old Buddhist tradition.
A favourite practise for the Hollywood Glitterati (Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Clint Eastwood) meditation involves sitting still, focusing on your breath, noticing thoughts, feelings, sensations and surroundings and when the attention drifts, bringing it back to the breath – and it is actually surprisingly challenging.
The Challenges and Benefits of Meditation
The first challenge, for most is actually finding the time to meditate , but if you MAKE the time then you are likely to reap the benefits. You don't have to meditate for an hour a day, so we recommend 5-10 minutes to begin with.
Clearing your mind, feeling sleepy and your body aching from sitting with a straight back are also other perfectly normal challenges that you may need to overcome when meditating.
But challenges aside, the benefits of Meditation are huge:
1. It lowers stress levels
2. Decreases depression
3. Improves your focus, attention and ability to work under stress
4. Increases mental strength, resilience and emotional intelligence
5. Helps relieve pain
6. Improves mood and psychological wellbeing
7. Lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of heart disease or a stroke
How to Meditate
To start meditation you will need two things: Something to sit on and a timer.
You can sit on a chair, cushion, bench or on the floor and we find a phone with a stopwatch a great little timer.
The biggest thing to remember is to sit with a straight back (this keeps you alert and allows you to concentrate on your breath), cross your legs and look slightly downwards. Your eyes can be open or closed and don't worry about your hands just rest them where you feel comfortable.
You then need to get comfortable. Open the timer on your phone and get into an upright and comfortable posture. Dim the lights a bit, or shut them off completely to help you focus better. Start the timer and then bring attention to your breath. Close your mouth and focus entirely on your breath as it enters and leaves your nose. Just breathe naturally and observe your breath without thinking too much about it. Don’t think. This is the hard part. Don’t analyse your breath; just bring your attention and focus to your breath, without thinking about it or analysing it. Bring your attention back to your mind when it wanders.
Meditating for 10 minutes a day is infinitely better than meditating for 70 minutes once a week so start small with 5 minutes per day and remember to pick a quiet spot with a quiet timer.
We have also unearthed some great guided meditations below that we thought you may also find useful to help you get started:
Breathing Guided Imagery meditation
10 minute meditation for anxiety
Deep relaxation meditation
Mindfulness Meditation In The Workplace
The Harvard Business School along with INSEAD—Europe’s leading business school—have concluded from their research that the two most effective business tools for twenty-first century executives are meditation and intuition. The benefits of meditation in the workplace positively impact both the individual and the business.
Employee stress can often result in:
- Blocking of creativity, inspiration, and mental clarity
- Damaging relationships with others, which in turn negatively impacts teamwork
- Insomnia, which leads to a decrease in new thinking, inspiration, and innovation
- Anxiety. Which can make it difficult to work on a team that requires patience and collaboration
Regular meditation for employees can result in the following benefits:
- Focus and Clarity
- Improved communication
- A reduction in staff absenteeism
- Increased productivity
With an increased awareness and government initiative on mental health and mindfulness in the workplace, glo has put together a fantastic mindfulness training workshop to assist staff on mindfulness practises, its history and a guided mindfulness session, so please feel free to get in touch if you want more info.
So there you have it. the mighty meditation in a nutshell. Let us know how you get on.