I’m an on-again, off-again meditator. In today’s world, it can be challenging to take a few minutes of “me time” every day to balance yourself. No matter where you are in your life, odds are there are many things vying for your attention, but it’s actually in our best interest to take some time each day for meditation. “Meditation” can be an intimidating word, but it can be as easy as taking just a few peaceful moments to clear your mind.
I’ve always felt my best when I have 15-20 minutes to meditate at the start of everyday. The time I set aside for meditation also improves this way. It becomes easier and easier for me to reach a ‘clear’ space, the more often I meditate. Like everything else though, the practice of meditation is a habit, and somewhere along the way my meditation habit stopped, so now I’m working to get back into it.
In the meantime I try to find other moments to calm my mind. It can be 60 seconds of clear thought, 10 deep and uninterrupted breaths before moving on to something else (these can be done in the car or in any private space), or 5 minutes lying down in bed before sleep just appreciating the day. It can also be journaling, or taking a brief walk. The true purpose is to put space between your thoughts and the amount of time spent thinking them, with the goal of being present. Allowing yourself to be present, without interruptions, creates designated time for clarity to bloom.
The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
If you do a quick Google search for “meditation,” there’s a long list of philosophies and schools of thought that you can dig through. If you’re interested in learning more about them and choosing one that fits your lifestyle best, go for it! If not, though, don’t worry. You can reap the benefits of meditation without having to dive too deeply into a practice. Below are a few simple steps to straightforward meditation.
- Find a quiet spot where you can sit or lie down — however you’re most comfortable.
- Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Feel free to use props, such as a pillow or folded blanket, if you need to.
- Slowly try to calm your mind. Don’t try to block any of your thoughts. Instead, try to notice and accept them as they appear, but don’t dwell on them. Just surrender to that noise in your brain.
- Relax your body – start with your shoulders, then unclench your jaw and continue to relax as you calm your mind. Meditation can only really happen if your body is able to relax, so make sure you’re comfortable and feel free to move around until you find the right position.
- Sit quietly for a minute, or up to 20 minutes and focus on your breathing.
- When you’re ready to get up, try to bring movement and intention back into your body and mind slowly.
How Will Meditation Benefit You?
- Meditation can help regulate emotions, including anxiety. By learning how to clear your mind and simply exist with your thoughts you can better control the emotions that you feel. For people who have anxiety, this can lead to better control over that anxiety.
- Meditation can help you stay focused. One of the most challenging aspects of meditation is allowing thoughts to occur without getting distracted by them. Essentially, you’re focusing on the task of not focusing. By doing so, you can learn to have greater control over your mental focus, and this can lead to better productivity and concentration throughout the rest of the day.
- Meditation makes you take a closer look at whom you really are. When you’re alone with your thoughts, it’s hard to pretend that you’re someone you’re not. Through meditation, you can see first-hand your reoccurring thoughts and feelings so you can confront, change or adjust them. Meditation can be used as a tool for growth.
- Meditation is wonderful for your skin. Stress is very hard on your skin —from frown lines to a dull complexion; it can take a toll on your skin’s health. Meditation helps you overcome stress and take a more confident, thoughtful approach to situations that, eventually, can help eliminate stress before it even appears.
Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn
Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: Website, Instagram, Facebook
“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”