Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed, stressed, or having anxiety throughout your daily routine? If not, please tell us your secret! On a serious note, particularly given the challenges that we as a species have collectively experienced over the past few years, it can be challenging to remain calm and positive in the face of adversity. Meditation is a topic that has been increasing in popularity, and is used for a variety of purposes, ranging from thousands of years old traditions of religious practice, treatment for mental health issues, and mindfulness practices integrated into holistic and healthy living.
What is meditation
Meditation has many different definitions, and we have worked to bring together the core elements for you. Meditation involves focussing on your thought processes and general mental awareness and headspace, for reasons including working through a specific issue, clearing your mind for attaining inner peace, striving towards spiritual enlightenment, and working towards having a different perspective and outlook on life. The concept of meditation is vast and can be daunting, especially for those just learning about it. We have put together a few of our favorite simple techniques to get you started.
As meditation has grown in popularity, so have the amount of resources available and easily accessible. Guided meditation is a great way to engage in a meaningful practice, particularly for people who are just beginning. YouTube has a vast collection of guided meditation videos and audios that provide helpful instructions.
Mindfulness meditation is focussed on observation of the practitioner’s mental state, particularly your thoughts. As human beings, we have millions of thoughts zooming through our head constantly, which can be distracting, confusing, and detract from experiencing our current situations. To try this, sit with your eyes closed and pay attention to these thoughts. Acknowledge and notice them, and then let them drift by without fixation on any one thought in particular. Many who try this practice notice that as they let initial thoughts go, they gain an understanding of how the human mind tends to judge the world around us rather than observe it. Over time, this natural judgemental nature subsides, allowing one to organically experience events for what is actually going on rather than a judgement of what is going on.
Active meditation is a fantastic way to engage your body while clearing and focussing your mind, and is helpful for those who have a hard time concentrating while sitting still. There are classes and specific techniques if you find instruction beneficial, including Qui-Jong, Tai-Chi, and many different types of yoga. If you want to try it on your own, go for a walk or stretch, and notice your surroundings and the sensations that you feel in your body. This mindset will mitigate the normal chatter and flow of thoughts of your daily life, and creates a feeling of peace, gratitude, and awareness of yourself and environment.
We wish you the best of luck on your journey to mindful, peaceful living. Be sure to look out for more tips in future articles, and feel free to contact us if there is a topic you would be interested to learn about; chances are people in the Flourish community are looking for the same information, and we’ll give you a shout-out for your participation!