Meditation 101

Meditation 101

Meditation is a practice that promotes mindfulness, clarity, and good breathing habits and has been around for thousands of years. Meditation is a great practice that anyone can do anywhere at any time, being very simple with just a few core principles. 

The point of meditation is to emphasize mindful breathing and slow down any racing thoughts. These thoughts may cause stress and anxiety so in order to counteract these feelings of stress, slowing down breathing patterns and realigning focus can help greatly.

It is common to experience random thoughts while trying to meditate. Allow and acknowledge these thoughts and slowly return to your focus on breathing. Meditation establishes a connection between the mind and body and this connection is centered around mindful breathing, which also assists in slowing your mind. Meditation also aims to bring your focus into the present and process the emotions you are currently experiencing.

You may take five minutes from your day, or even half an hour. Some people meditate first thing in the morning, right before bed, or just before a big occasion to calm their nerves. Anytime that suits you is fine.

To start off with, set aside some time to meditate and make sure you’re in an environment that will allow you to do so.

Beginners may find it easier to start with guided meditations. These can be found online or through phone apps. Some will have light music and a narrator throughout the duration of the recording. Once you become more accustomed to meditation, you can meditate independently without any video guide. Some common breathing patterns during meditation include alternate nose breathing and belly breathing. Other techniques include managing the inhaling and exhaling process through timed sequences. Such time sequences include 4-7-8 breathing which entails inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and then exhaling for eight seconds. There are other timed breathing sequences such as 4,4,4 and 5,5,5 as well.

Meditation might seem intimidating at first, but in the long run it is a great practice to add to your daily life. With enough consistency, meditation can improve your mental health and improve your breathing, and it’s a great strategy to have when life gets too hectic. While we can’t pause life, we can always learn how to manage our time and stress and help ourselves to get through the difficult times with tools like meditation!