Meditation is now a billion dollar industry. From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to millennials fresh out of school, many people are speaking about the life changing and mind altering benefits of mindfulness through meditation.
So how to get started when you have an action packed every day life? To squeeze even one more thing into the day of a devoted parent, spouse, sister, full time employee manager, friend, and want to be painter seems unrealistic. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Here’s how to give it a go:
- Start small. It may be hard to get your head around sitting or laying still for any amount of time. Start with one breath. Breathe deeply in once and out. Notice the difference over time with that one small action.
- Explore Mediation Apps to see what you connect with. After trying a few, one of the best in terms of variety is Simple Habit. Their tagline pulls you immediately in “This is a daily vacation for your mind.” Who doesn’t want that? Explore different practitioners. It may be a soothing voice, you may be lured in by the choice of background music , or you may relate well to the accompanying guidance. It’s a personal choice. An app is great as it tracks progress but you can also peruse YouTube for some of the more popular one of meditations.
- Contrary to what you would expect, sleep is not always the best meditation. Upon awakening, many people still carry a lot of stress through the night. Minds are working overtime and the unconscious is active sorting through the today and tomorrow’s worries. One way to test for a level of ultimate relaxation post sleep is to do an active meditation. If you come away more relaxed following this exercise, you likely carried some stress through the evening. Here’s the exercise.
- Take 3 deep breaths.
- Take a deep breath while curling your toes under. Release your breath and release your toes.
- Take a deep breath while flexing your calves, Release your calves and your breath.
- Take a deep breath while flexing your thigh muscles. Release your calves and your breath simultaneously.
- Repeat flexing your hands and arms and releasing your breath.
- Take a few additional deep breaths and remain still for a few minutes.
- Practice makes perfect. Build this into your day when it can be an everyday routine. Either in the morning or right before bed for the greatest chance of repeatability to build a routine.
- Measure your impact. Mediation has been associated with a ton of health benefits. Take your blood pressure as a benchmark and watch how meditation may have a positive impact over a few weeks with a reduction in your readings. From studies completed by ProjectMediation.org, The actual statistics from those who meditate show mediation reduced the likelihood of being hospitalized for coronary disease by 87 percent, and the possibility of getting cancer by 55 percent. Pretty incredible positive impact on health and wellness from this simple practice.
- Meditation is being introduced in schools and businesses with positive effects. Meditation practice has been shown to help children be more mindful and kind. This helps deter bullying. Also from the Meditation Project, business owners have reported that among employees, who meditate, absenteeism is lower, production is higher, and the quality of their work is better thus proving the statistics on people who meditate are right. In one example, a Detroit based chemical plant posted the following results three years after implementing meditation:
- Absenteeism fell by 85%
- Productivity rose 120%
- Injuries dropped 70%
- Profits increased 520%
A few minutes a day for a clearer head, health benefits, and an opportunity to be better focused in areas where you need or want to invest the time.