If you're new to the concept of meditation, start off with a few minutes a day and allow your practice to build up as you experience the benefits. Remember your mind won't always want to quieten, thoughts will jump in but it's what you do with those thoughts that's important. Visualise those thoughts as a train - you can choose to allow it to stop at your station and you can jump on board, or you can just quietly notice the train and allow it to pass on through. By being kind and gentle with yourself whilst you slowly learn to connect with your body and breath, you will learn how to gain more control over your thought patterns and make gradual changes.
So, let's meditate!
First choose your ambience; music can be very helpful. Some people find the sounds of nature calming, like birdsong or ocean waves, or you may prefer classical music. Silence is also fine if you find music or sound distracting. It's about doing what's right for you!
Burning essential oils is a great way of helping you to relax and stay focused on your meditation. Our favourites are:
- Frankincense - great when you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed or tired.
- Chamomile - perfect for those times when you feel irritable and nervous.
- Ylang Ylang - distinctive uplifting floral scent.
- Lavender - Fantastic all round oil, especially when in need of relaxation.
Try to find which position is best for you. Sitting upright, keeping your spine straight is the traditional way, but if you prefer, you can lie on your back.
Ok, close your eyes and begin to notice your breath. Don't forget those thoughts that will try to jump in! Try not to engage them and gently bring your attention back to your breath. Connect with your body, notice your feet, legs, hips, stomach, arms, shoulders, throat and head. Take a deep, slow breath in and imagine taking that breath right to the very top of your head, hold for three seconds then slowly release and imagine that breath now travelling all the way down to the bottom of your back. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat. If you need to, you can take a break and allow your normal breathing to resume, before trying again. Don't beat yourself up if you head is racing, keep practicing and remember that some days it will feel easier than others. Notice afterwards how relaxed your body and mind feel; that will give you the incentive to keep practising.
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