Meditation may be a trend… but before that is an art! It has become one of the most popular ways of mindfulness and self-care for many, and since today we’re celebrating World Mental Health Day, we wanted to give you a few tips on how to get started on this art.
You may have seen those zen figures, sitting for hours in the same position, their eyes closed and feeling their connection with the universe. Well, that may be ideal, but getting to it requires hard work and powerful habits, that’s what we’re going to teach you today.
Meditation is scientifically proven to help your mind AND your body. One of its main benefits is the reduction of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that’s produced by your immune system, in response to stress, see the link there?
By reducing cortisol, you increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine (happy hormones) in your body. The signs of these two: You feel more satisfied, happy and relaxed.
Now, mentally, meditation helps you reach more awareness of your own body, feelings, and thoughts. That’s why it is one of the main mindfulness tools used by therapists and psychologists to complement treatment. The more you meditate, the more aware you are of your patterns, the more you know yourself and the more you can develop empathy with others.
How to start meditating?
Leo Babauta, expert minimalist, and zen master suggest starting to meditate just two minutes a day, every single day. Why? Building habits is easier when you start making them on a daily basis.
You can do it anywhere, not necessarily sitting or laying down. You can also meditate while you stand. Just choose the best position for your body, close your eyes and contemplate the thoughts that cross your mind, letting them go and just observing them.
Paying attention to your breath is also helpful! It helps with “grounding” and focusing your thoughts on just one thing for a while. Try not to think if you’re doing it right or wrong, just show up and do it the first days! Finding the best way to meditate is a very personal process.
As you breathe, you can also feel and scan your body. feel every limb, inch of skin and part of it. Again, this helps with relaxation and grounding, vital to teaching your mind to let go.
Some people meditate better in silence and some others find sounds relaxing. Find the method that works best for you, try to do it in silence one day, turn on your speakers with natural sounds or relaxing music to test how it goes. Just make sure that music isn’t the main focus of your meditation, your mind comes first.
By doing these simple steps for a month, you’ll be developing your meditation habit and you’ll start to feel the benefits, then you can start increasing your meditation time a few minutes more per week until you reach your personal goal.
Remember, this is not a competition! You might do the same by meditation 5 minutes or 1 hour, the goal is to reach a balance, grounding and the feeling of wellness and satisfaction. Try this out and let us know how it goes for you! A relaxed, mindful life is also part of the #X4Ever lifestyle.
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