What is Meditation?

by Carrinicole

Meditation is a type of training for your mind that relaxes your body, your mood, and your psyche. A regular practice helps reduce stress, develop concentration, and mitigate anxiety. 

Its been around for thousands of years – the first records are from 1500 BC!

A common misconception is that meditation is sitting on the floor, cross-legged, silencing your thoughts for long periods of time. I know that’s what I initially thought. And I learned that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many different ways to meditate. But there are key tenants to all kinds of meditation:

  1. Mindfulness – the ability to be fully engaged in what you’re doing in the moment, to be present. Paying attention to your thoughts, and consistently returning them back to your practice is all a part of learning.
  2. Skill – like any hobby, getting better requires consistent practice.
  3. Practice – meditation is always in practice, there is no finish line to be a ‘perfect meditator.’

I never thought I would be the person to encourage you to meditate. I’ve tried meditating many times, and after a couple days I couldn’t continue. I thought it just wasn’t for me. I learned that I had a narrow view of the practice and had no resources. Take it from me, you can’t just sit in silence as a beginner!

I learned that I like to meditate lying down, not sitting up. Since I’m early on my journey, I like guided meditations with a voice instructing me. Visualization and guided breath work are my favorite types of guided meditation. I also like ambient background music. 

 Here are my favorite resources for guided meditation:

  Headspace – subscription (currently free for some cities during covid-19)

  Audible — subscription

  Variis (Headstrong) – subscription (free for Equinox members)

  Calm – free 7 day trial

  10% Happier – free to start

  Insight Timer – free

  The Mindfulness App

  I would also encourage looking on Instagram and YouTube for guided videos too!

One of the best investments you can make in your wellbeing is to meditate. Even starting with investing 3-5 minutes of your day.

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