Meditation is so hot right now. It’s up there with kale and turmeric lattes. I don’t blame people for getting put off by the thought of meditating. Hoping this trend, like many others will pass.
Thing is though, meditating has been around since the dawn of time. Scientists are now on board with neurological studies to prove that meditation changes your brain!
So what’s it all about, how can you get on board and what will it actually do?
Here’s my top 5 tips to get you started.
1. Lower your expectations
When I talk to people about meditate, they dismiss it because they think it’s too hard. There are many misconceptions about what meditation requires. Some think you have to clear your mind and sit still for an hour. Others think there is chanting involved.
Well, yeah, that is meditation for some. But there is so much more to it. Put simply, meditation is the art of mindful awareness. Turning inwards and learning to turn off the noise. There are many ways to reach that goal.
Don’t expect to nail it on your first attempt. This is why we call it a meditation ‘practice’. You have to keep at it. And it does get easier.
2. Practice every day
The important thing to keep on track is to practice every day. Start small. Set aside 5 minutes every day at a time that suits you. It might be morning or just before bed. What ever works, try to make it the same time every day. Set an alarm in your phone.
3. Get some help
There are so many apps available and I would strongly recommend a guided app to get you started. My favorites are Buddify and Insight Time (free).
If you have the resources available, I encourage you to do a meditation course. I recently completed my second one and I love it. There are different courses to suit different budgets. It’s a great way to get started as they introduce to different techniques and you can find what works.
4. Understand the benefits to keep you going
I had real problems with my first born. She was a terrible sleeper and had behavioral problems. A lack of sleep led to a very cranky mum. What meditation provided me, was time to calm my mind and increase my patience. That was the biggest difference I found. The more patient I became, the better mother, I was, the better my child responded.
Meditation brings about an inner peace that allows you to block the external noise of today’s pressures. As a parent, this is a vital skill to learn.
A regular meditation practice can set you up with the patience, clarity and kindness you need to be a parent.
5. Get the kids involved
When my baby was four months old, I held him close to my chest to soothe him and took deep breaths. What I noticed was that he stopped crying and started taking big breaths. From that moment, I started getting my kids on board. At a very young age I made them mindful of their breathing when they were upset. As they got older I would get them to sit with me outside and direct their attention to the sounds and feelings surrounding them. There are many things you can do with your kids to set them up for a practice of their very own.