Hi lovely lady

 

In this post, I want to explore the practice of meditation and its amazingly therapeutic benefits to manage stress, and for calming the Mind, Body, and Spirit.

 

I’m a recent convert to meditation. Since becoming a ‘digital nomad’ I have a lot fewer worries than I used to, but I can still get very stressed over what’s happening in the world if I don’t control it.

 

Woman practicing meditation overlaid a busy city - stress management concept

 

“Meditation is Breath, Thought and Awareness  – Sadhguru

 

Meditation Is More Relevant Now Than Ever

We live in crazy times.

 

More people are looking for ways to de-stress, unwind, and calm their anxieties than ever before. That’s because we’re experiencing the causes of these debilitating issues more than ever before.

 

Many of us women are feeling the need to get back in touch with our intuitiveness…to listen to that inner voice and interpret what it’s trying to tell us.

 

Myself included, and not too long ago, I would have felt like this was very woo-woo.

 

…but no more!

 

This is particularly true as we get older. Many things change for us women. Our children leave home to embark on their own life-journeys. We go through menopause.

 

We often experience bouts of anxiety and depression…often but not always, directly due to menopause.

 

AND…we start to re-evaluate our lives

 

This can mean changing the way we think completely and exploring things we wouldn’t have considered when we were younger. That’s not unusual.

 

When we’re younger we have so much more going on, that we don’t stop to listen, we don’t heed that inner voice or even practice any type of self-care. We just don’t make time.

 

In the not too distant past, I hadn’t even heard the phrases ‘Living with Purpose’, ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Intentional Living’, or ‘Self-Care’. Maybe you hadn’t either.

 

What rock was I under?…maybe you shared the same rock!

 

The one so many of us are under in our earlier years if we’ve never been exposed to these things.

 

Granted…there have always been young women into meditation, yoga, plant-based diets, etc, but I didn’t pay much attention. I was guilty of considering them to be ‘alternative’.

 

Now I realize they were definitely onto something. Peace, serenity, healthy eating, healthy bodies, much less stress leading to a calm Mind, Body, and Spirit.

 

Peaceful Zen picture of black pebbles, bamboo and orchid covered in dewdrops

 

So now I feel there is no time like the present to make up for all those years of not paying attention. It’s time to revel in the amazing benefits that come from adopting this mindset.

 

 

Why Is Meditation So Beneficial?

 

“The mind is everything. What you think you become” – Buddha

 

Our minds are amazing. We can have millions of thoughts a day, about a myriad of random things, most of which we don’t control. They just come.

 

Some are good, helpful, and essential, while others are negative, completely unhelpful, and cause us stress and discomfort.

 

This is perfectly natural. We’re always going to react to any stimuli around us. The problem is that modern life is so all-consuming, we don’t get a chance to relax much, to spend time just chilling out and giving our busy brains a rest. 

 

Even when we do try to take some time out, the brain never shuts off (thankfully, ‘cos you know…death isn’t ideal!)

 

But to give you a classic example…

 

Even when I have a beautiful massage which is very relaxing…I catch myself thinking about what I have to do after the massage. What shopping do I need for dinner? Should I get gas on the way home? Will the massage oil stain my clothes?

 

I mean, really?…during a massage!

 

One way to get your mind back under your control is meditation. No matter what kind of meditation you choose to practice, you’ll learn how to keep negative thoughts at bay, and how to harness the inner spirit we all possess.

 

Calm peaceful African American woman with eyes closed breathing deep

 

Once learned, practicing meditation, can be used at any time and in many circumstances to stop your brain from affecting your mood, worrying you, and causing stress. It’s like being able to ‘calm’ it at will.

 

Once you realize that contentedness and being present are the true keys to happiness and not the constant chasing of possessions and personal recognition, it can be life-changing for many.

 

 

I Believe Meditation Can Help Everyone

 

There are varied reasons why meditation is becoming increasingly popular and appealing to more and more people. You may want to find peace, calm your mind, be healthier, learn how to focus, overcome anxiety, find life-balance, or grow spiritually.

 

Plus, meditation helps to reduce the body’s stress response.

 

This lowers your blood pressure (helping with heart conditions) and by lowering your stress response you can benefit your immune system as it won’t feel like it’s on ‘high alert’.

 

Peaceful window seat with book, coffee and pillows

 

It’s definitely something everyone can benefit from. If it’s completely new to you, that’s ok. It’s supposed to be calming, gentle, and at your own pace, not something to stress over. So just relax and enjoy, but take it seriously so you can really get the best from it.

 

It doesn’t need to take much time in your day.

 

You’ll benefit much more from meditating for just 5 minutes every day, rather than 35 minutes twice a week.

 

After you have set a daily habit for 5 minutes, slowly increase to 10 minutes per day and so on, until you can maybe build up to 30 minutes per day EVERY day. You will be amazed at the way you feel.

 

 

Learn The 3 Pillars of Meditation – By Live And Dare

 

1. The Daily Habit

2. The Right Technique

3. Transformation

 

Adopt the 3 pillars of meditation as taught by the wonderful Giovanni Dienstmann from liveanddare.com to get the most out of this amazingly healing practice. The correct technique, support, and guidance are essential to really enjoying and reaping the most benefits from your meditation.

 

I encourage you to visit his website to benefit from his years of practicing and teaching many types of meditation techniques.

 

Giovanni teaches that you should clarify your goals. Decide what benefits do you want to achieve through your meditation?

 

I feel these goals are essential for us all to determine. Not just for meditation, but also for deciding how we will live in the future.

 

They relate to mindfulness, living with purpose, self-care, getting back in touch with our spirituality, and dealing with depression and anxiety in a variety of ways.

 

  • Stress relief and peace of mind?

 

  • Getting in touch with yourself?

 

  • Improving memory, concentration, and performance?

 

  • Emotional healing and letting go?

 

  • Spiritual awakening?

 

  • Overcoming fear and anxiety?

 

 

6 Ways You Can Benefit From Practicing Meditation

 

1. Meditation for Health

In ancient times, the practitioners of meditation were mainly interested in enlightenment. These days we recognize the health benefits associated with reducing stress levels, managing chronic health issues, calming the mind, and improving sleep.

 

All of these are essential for us to thrive.

 

The more you meditate, the more in tune with yourself and your body you will feel. This will help you to better understand yourself.  Most importantly, it will help you more quickly realize when something is off or wrong.

 

2. Meditation helps you to relax

One of the most obvious benefits of meditating is relaxation. Meditation forces you to quiet your mind, forget your stress, and truly be ‘present in the moment’. This helps to encourage relaxation.

 

The less you focus on what’s going to happen in the future, what happened in the past, and your stress, and the more you focus on your meditation practices, the calmer you’ll feel.

 

The practice of meditation has been used for centuries to reduce stress and stimulate relaxation. It works so well as a relaxer that it has even been known to slow heart rates.

 

It cuts across different cultures and religions. It’s less about faith, and more about finding peace, self-awareness, and mindfulness regarding how our choices may affect others.

 

3. Meditation helps improve and encourage self-awareness

Self-reflection and becoming more self-aware is a crucial quality to success, humility, and being an overall good person.

 

Meditation encourages you to look inwardly and focus on your inner-self and in turn, encourages you to reflect on your actions and yourself as a person.

 

4. Meditation can improve your focus

Meditation can improve your focus because it forces you to practice it each and every time you meditate. True meditation requires great focus and control.

 

It forces you to spend a designated amount of time in the absolute present in self-reflection and true focus.

 

Improving your focus can also help to increase your productivity. This can be beneficial in so many aspects of your life. If you run your own business, you still work in a job, or even just getting things done at home.

 

There’s an increased clarity that comes from learning to really focus.

 

5. Medication can help you find your balance in life

The more you meditate, the better balance you can achieve in your life. Time dedicated to self-reflection allows you to reach a level of understanding and awareness that helps you to be a better and more understanding person.

 

This can lead to greater self-awareness, self-respect, humility, confidence, and peace/relaxation.

 

6. Meditation can help you be mindful of those around you

Because meditation can help you improve your self-awareness and observance, it can also help you be more aware of those around you and their feelings. You’ll start to notice when your friends feel uncomfortable or are in pain.

 

This will enable you to become better at reading the general mood and energy of the room. Allowing you to better adjust yourself to match that level and better accommodate those around you.

 

 

8 Beginner Meditation Practices To Try

 

There are many variations of meditation and it’s worth trying as many as you feel you would like to until you find the one that best suits your needs.

 

1. Mindfulness Meditation – Based on the teachings of Buddha

This is based on the teachings of Buddha and is very instrumental in helping us understand how our minds work. This self-knowledge helps us to become more patient, tolerant, and grateful for what we have.

 

Gratitude Meditation Hand Gesture

 

This directly affects how we interact with others, leading to improved relationships and an overall happier, more fulfilled life.

 

You learn to be present ‘in the moment’. To clear your mind from what’s happened in the past and what may happen in the future. As your mind wanders…and it naturally will, you bring it back to the present without worrying about the ‘why’ of your wandering thoughts.

 

The best way to focus your attention away from your wandering thoughts is to concentrate on your breathing. And as you practice this mindfulness you will feel better empowered to cope with life whilst keeping calm and maintaining your peace of mind.

 

2. Focused Meditation

Here, you focus ALL your attention and energy on one specific action. It can be as simple as eating a meal or drinking a cup of warming tea.

 

Woman with eyes closed focussed on enjoying her cup of tea

 

Whatever it is you are doing requires your total concentration on it. Be aware of the taste, the sensations of eating or drinking, or whatever the object of your focus is, and remove all other distractions from your mind.

 

And…if your mind wanders, bring it back to the moment and the focus of your attention.

 

Notice, this is the exact opposite of multi-tasking and, it’s what top performers like athletes are trained to do to prevent their thoughts from jumping away from the task at hand.

 

This commitment to total concentration and not allowing yourself to be distracted will help clear your mind of other thoughts, leading to a sense of calm and peacefulness.

 

3. Visualization/Guided Meditation

Here you close your eyes and use the powerful creativity of your mind to visualize an image or a memory that evokes a particular feeling of relaxation and happiness. Try to use as many senses as possible.

 

You may imagine the clarity of a mountain stream, seeing the fish swimming, or the salty taste, or the ocean, or the smell and lush greenery of a rain forest.

 

Beautiful image of mountain river raging between the rocks

 

Losing yourself in this imagery, including the smell, taste, feeling of the warmth of the sun on your skin requires that you focus.

 

So, not only do you evoke feelings of being in a place that ‘speaks’ to you, but the very act of concentrating on your image and sensations will clear your mind of other unwelcome thoughts, thereby allowing you to relax, be calm and unwind.

 

4. Yoga Meditation

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice based on specific postures and controlled breathing exercises designed to promote flexibility and a calm mind.

 

Mature woman in Yoga meditation pose

 

Because balance and concentration are required to perfect the poses and stay in the moment, you reduce your mind of distractions.

 

5. Spiritual Meditation

Within a religious context, this can include silent, spoken, or chanted prayer, therefore meditation can help you feel a deeper connection with the Divine.

 

Praying hands holding flower petal

 

However, in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism, meditation is predominantly about the practitioner becoming the best human being they can be.

 

Here the focus is on self-awareness and the practice of treating others with compassion and benevolence.

 

Are you noticing a common thread? Self-awareness, peace of mind, calmness, controlling anxiety, compassion, becoming a better person…can’t be a bad thing, can it?

 

6. Chanting/Mantra Meditation

Chanting certain mantras over and over has the same effect of clearing your mind from intrusive day-to-day thoughts. Because you focus on just a single word or phrase such as ‘Om’, the repetition becomes cathartic and often leads to calmness, and also an alert state of mind.

 

Repeating the mantra can be done loudly or quietly and the very act of repeating the mantras gives our minds a task, which helps us control other thoughts coming into our minds.

 

This is a great practice for beginners who may find silence or the focus on their breath to be difficult at first.

 

7. Chakra Meditation

The word Chakra means ‘wheel’ in ancient Sanskrit and it refers to the center of energy and spirituality in the body.

 

Woman practicing meditation with chakras marked

 

There are believed to be 7 chakras, interconnected energy centers where a number of ‘meridians’ converge …each located in different parts of the body. These are represented by different colors.

 

Bringing balance back to the chakras has been linked to sustained mental and physical wellbeing and is the focus of this type of meditation by mentally picturing each chakra and its corresponding color.

 

Learning to check in with the different Chakras, and using visualization techniques is used to heal the various corresponding body areas. This can bring your physical health and mental attitude into a more peaceful state.

 

8. Movement Meditation

Whilst most forms of meditation focus on you sitting in one place, movement meditation focuses on the body staying in motion.

 

But, because sitting still for any period of time isn’t always possible for some people due to injury or a short attention span, movement meditation may suit you just fine.

 

Interestingly, a short attention span is a modern-day affliction, and something many of us struggles with.

 

Mature woman in white clothing practicing Tai Chi on the beach

 

So, the very act of movement whether it be walking, tai chi, yoga, qi gong, or martial arts can all be meditative so long as you are totally ‘present’ while you’re doing it.

 

Once again, this means you stop thoughts coming into your head, and focus all your attention on the movement, smells, how your muscles feel, the warmth of the sun on your body, or the crunch of the snow under your feet.

 

After you master this technique of clearing your mind of day-to-day thoughts and be totally present in your movement meditation, you can apply it to anything.

 

The outcome will be a period of time where you are not plagued by negative thoughts or worries. Therefore you can truly enjoy the moment for all its pleasures.

 

This sounds easy, but like any form of meditation, it takes some practice to control your emotions and thoughts, and learn to completely focus.

 

The result is that once you do, you will be able to be calm and find peace of mind wherever and whenever you need to.

 

Whichever type of meditation you choose…it’s a life-changing skill!

 

These are just a few of the most common meditation practices and there are so many more to choose from, particularly as you become more advanced.

 

So, with so many different practices to choose from, I’m sure there will be one that appeals to you. Have fun exploring and trying out different techniques until you find the one that feels right.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in the comments as I would be really interested to hear which one if any of these meditation styles suit you.