Meditation is like making a new friend. We are making friends with the mind. Often making new friends can be daunting and unsettling but it can also be exciting. It’s the same thing when working with the mind. You are always making new discoveries along the way. And when you make friends with your mind it allows you to make better friends with the people around you. Meditation allows you to sense anxiety in the mind and bring it back to a calmer state. It is the art of mindfulness.
Meditation is often the practice of controlled breathing and being present with the breath. Breath focused meditation often involves inhaling and exhaling according to a set rhythm. For example, you might inhale for five counts, exhale for five, and repeat. A fantastic app I use is called ‘Headspace’ which focuses on calmness and balance. There’s also the apps ‘Smiling Mind’ and ‘Calm’ which focus on breathing techniques that help you relax. Breath-focused meditation include a number of benefits such as an increase in focus, decreased mind wandering, an improvement in arousal levels, increased positive emotions and decreased emotional reactivity. It can also lower your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and treat symptoms of depression and anxiety. Of course meditation is not going to solve all these problems in one go however with repetition and practise you should begin to see some results. Meditation ultimately alleviates stress and anxiety through the practice of mindfulness.
Meditation is my one of favourite things to do to start my day. I find practising at least 1 to 3 times a day is enough to bring me back to my breath and back to the present. Finding time just to squeeze in a little bit of breathing and relaxation makes the world of difference to your day. Meditation regulates the mess that is my mind no matter how messy it gets. Making friends with a messy mind is challenging but so worth the time. Have a mindful day!