Between trying to balance a busy home life with the never-ending demands of the world of work, it can be hard to find time in the day to take care of your own mental health and well-being.
That’s why, in this week’s blog, we go over our top tips for embracing self-awareness through regular meditation and developing better emotional wellness by taking time to practice mindfulness every day.
We also give you a go over a quick and simple, five-minute meditation session that is perfect for stress relief where you’re short on time.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the habitual practice of training your mind to build better focus, redirect your thoughts and improve your own emotional awareness. This ancient wellness practise focuses on training awareness, attention, and compassion while trying to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional calmness.
What most people don’t know is that there are actually many different styles of meditation, and each practice requires a different skillset and mindset. The two major styles of mediations include:
- Focused-attention meditation:
This style of meditation aims to focus your attention on a single thought, object or visualization in order to clear your mind of any disturbances or distractions. This could involve repeating a particular mantra or focusing on a specific breathing pattern.
- Open-monitoring meditation:
This type of meditation is all about broadening your awareness as a whole while taking in every aspect of your environment. The idea is to become more aware of the thoughts, feelings and sensations around you which you may usually try to suppress or skip over in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The benefits of meditation
Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health, and the practice has been successfully used for many years to help people increase awareness of both their inner selves and their surroundings.
Individuals who are able to effectively enter a meditative stage are able to use this practice to develop a more outlook on life, elevate their mood and improve their self-discipline – but research shows that the benefits of meditation extend past just basic self-awareness and a better sense of clarity.
Here are just a few of the ways in which developing a daily meditation routine will benefit you:
- It will reduce your stress and anxiety
- It will calm your nervous system (since meditation has been proven to be a very effective way to bring your brain waves into a deeply calm and relaxed state)
- It will promote better emotional health and self-awareness
- It will improve your attention span and concentration
- It will help reduce any memory loss
- According to some research, it will help you manage symptoms of all kinds of conditions such as asthma, chronic pain, depression, high blood pressure, sleep problems and tension headaches.
How to manage your breathing
Most people think that there must be a certain technique to breathing right when it comes to meditation but, in actual fact, most meditation experts recommend that you allow your body to breathe naturally. After all, the whole point of mindfulness and meditation is to cultivate awareness and find a sense of peace.
That being said, there are a few tips and tricks that will help you hone your focus and really immerse yourself in that meditative stage. Experts recommend that you take several deep breaths before you start, as well as to focus on breathing in through your nose and breathing out through your mouth until you find a comfortable rhythm.
Keeping a clear head
It’s completely normal to feel your mind wondering when you first start your meditation journey. The important thing to remember is that it will always take a bit of time to get comfortable with being alone with your thoughts when you first get started, and there’s no rush to achieve a certain level of clarity and stillness immediately.
The reality is that meditation is not about stopping your thoughts completely. Instead, it’s about learning how to observe your thinking while managing feelings of restlessness and anxiety in order to find some stillness in the moment.
Remember, there might be some setbacks along the way, but it’s important to recognize that this is just a part of your meditation journey.
A quick 5-minute meditation routine for stress relief
Gaining a new perspective when it comes to stressful situations can be as simple as dedicating just five minutes a day to sitting down and taking some time to improve your mindfulness through meditation.
The great thing about meditation is that it really can be done anywhere, and it doesn’t require any specialized equipment or space.
How to get started:
- Find a place on the floor or at your desk chair to sit upright in a relaxed, comfortable position.
- Take time to notice how you’re feeling and acknowledge any emotions or sensations that you may be experiencing at the time.
- Actively relax your body and feel the weight of it sink into the floor or your chair.
- Take a second to notice your own breathing pattern and slowly breathe deeply in and out through your nose and mouth until you are comfortable.
- Now, take five minutes to sit in stillness and reflect. Remember to be kind to your wandering mind as you take on this new practice.
While five minutes can feel like a short amount of time, taking a moment to separate yourself from the constant busyness and distraction of the world we live in today can dramatically improve your ability to cope with stress, increase your focus and improve your productivity — as well as enable you to be more fully present during the rest of your activities throughout the day.
Some other handy tips:
If your work or home environment has too many distractions to allow for a peaceful, quiet surrounding, consider participating in a group meditation class over the weekend. This can improve your chance of successfully mastering meditation as you’ll have the guidance of a seasoned instructor to assist you during your learning journey, as well as the additional support of an entirely new community.
Alternatively, consider setting your alarm a few minutes early to take advantage of some quiet time in the morning. This may help you develop a more consistent habit and allow you to set the tone for the day so that you can tackle every task further with a more positive attitude.
Holistic, healthy living with WellBe
This November, we’re zoning-in on the theme of focus, mental wellness and mindfulness.
Here at WellBe, we want to give you the right tools to strengthen your mind and your body and to start building a healthy balanced lifestyle for yourself.
That’s why we’ve developed our two new 12-week nutrition and training guides to help you live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving your goals and living a life that is centred around healing, health and happiness.
Our easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions are fun, simple and the perfect way to improve your mental focus and renew your motivation for the week ahead with a variety of healthy, balanced meal plans and killer workout routines.