Whether it's ferrying the kids to endless after school club, or watching nervously as those household bills continue to rocket there’s an endless list of worries and woes that make modern life stressful.
As a way of escaping the day to day rigours, more of us are turning to meditation. In fact, according to Google, the number of searches for meditation apps increased by 65% year on year as we recognise the benefits of taking ten minutes out of our day to de-stress.
From improving concentration to boosting energy, meditation restores your body to a state of calm. It has been used for centuries as a way of grounding and contemplating. The word itself comes from the Latin term meditatum, meaning “to ponder”; while it is believed to stretch back thousands of years to India where Dhyāna or Jhāna was seen as a way to “train the mind”.
Today, with mental health issues on the rise, it continues to be heralded for its many wellbeing benefits, as studies reveal it can help reduce insomnia and increase creativity.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation?
Keep anxiety under control … One study found that eight weeks of mindfulness reduced anxiety symptoms while increasing positive coping methods.
Boost self-awareness … Focussing on yourself leads to a greater understanding of what makes you tick.
Enhance emotional health … It can help train you to have a more positive outlook.
Improve attention … Think of it as exercising your mind to improve memory and accuracy.
Better sleeping habits … By practising what you learn through meditation you can combat those sleepless nights.
Lower blood pressure … Research shows daily meditation is good for heart health.
You can do it anywhere … No fancy equipment required!
The easiest way to start is with focused meditation, where you concentrate on a single object, a calming sound or thought to clear your mind of distractions and negativity.
Sit in a relaxed position, in your favourite chair for example, and focus on your breathing. Take a deep breath in through the nose, hold for four seconds, then breath out, through pursed lips. If you find your mind wandering off, redirect your thoughts back to your breath.
You can start with as little as five minutes each day building up to 20 minute sessions. Just remember to silence your phone and put any devices out of reach.