Meditation is an approach to training and focusing of your mind. Like you exercise your body to stay in shape, meditation keeps your mind fit and healthy.
The Difficulties of Meditation
Anxious, distracted, bored… these reactions to sitting for long periods of time might resonate with you more than the desired calm and relaxing that you want. The premise of sitting for hours and thinking of nothing, or have an “empty mind”, is incredibly daunting. As researchers report dwindling attention spans, the task of switching off and unplugging from modern life is arguably more difficult than ever before.
The first way to make meditation more appealing is to remove this stigma. A well-practised mediator might well be able to sit for hours to focus their mind, but beginners won’t. In fact, even those who have commited long term to meditation can struggle. Like any type of physical exercise, this mind exercise takes practise. Approaching it like you would any other piece of fitness might help you hone your skills and it’ll be worth it, like fitness regimes are, in the long run.
The purpose of meditation is simply to be present, rather than achieving benefits. That being said, there are potential long term benefits that might convince you to commit to honing your meditation skills. Short-term benefits on the nervous system are well known, but researchers are looking into the long-term health benefits, which they believe might include positive effects on brain and immune function.
Below are some day-to-day practises that you can start to include in your routine. These are small mind focusing techniques and related practises that will help the process of meditating become more natural.
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Ways to Make Meditation Easier
1. Use an App
The modern world has even found ways to modernise the ancient art of meditation. The tech-savvy team at Headspace have created the perfect addition to your day: an application that can be used on the move and implemented whenever you feel the need.
Being on our phones constantly is a reflection of modern life, so this application is a great starting point begin your meditational practices. Soon you’ll be prepared to unplug completely, and practise meditation on your own.
2. Use Breathing Techniques
Breathing is a key part of meditation. So if you can practise some breathing techniques whilst going about your daily routine, then implementing them in meditation will become natural.
For some basic techniques, as well as subtle ones that you can do whilst in public, head over our article Why We Should Care About Breathing Better.
3. Everyday Mindfulness Practices
Apps can help you learn how to use mindfulness practise in your daily routine. Exercising, eating and commuting are all times where you can practise sharpening your mind with these exercises. This practise will help you with obtain some of the benefits of meditation and make focused meditation less daunting.
To learn more about the key differences between mindfulness and meditation, check out our guide to mindfulness vs meditation. If you exercise regularly then see how you can start incorporating mindfulness into your exercise routine or try out meditative yoga nidra practise.
4. Essential Oils
Once you’ve started meditating, oils can boost and benefit your meditation routine, as well as helping you get into it in the first place.
Essential oils can naturally help to calm your mind and refocus your energy, helping you create a good environment to meditatie in. The therapeutic properties include promoting calm, boosting mood and relieving stress. The effect of oils can kick in as soon as you smell them, and you can choose to rub them on your skin or use a diffuser to circulate them in the air.
Try oils like
Lavender -for relaxation
Ylang ylang -as a mood booster
Sandalwood- for mind clarity
Roman Chamomile- for restlessness
Clary Sage- for anxiety
Aswell as essential oils you can also add CBD to to you meditation routine you can find out how CBD and meditation go hand in hand in our article on CBD and meditation
5. A Small Amount of Time is Better than no Time
Ultimately, meditation takes practice. A small time commitment if you have a busy schedule is better than nothing at all. If you are someone who finds a full half hour of meditation daunting, then why not start with short bursts before commiting to a longer session that you can make the most of.
Mediation can be a great way to calm your mind, deal with overthinking and ease anxiety. Incorporating meditation into your daily routine can be a great way to combat stress and boost your mood. Trying these easy tips will help you get the hang of meditation in no time.