When I was at my worst with my battle with anxiety and panic attacks, I had no idea what an impact meditation would have on my life. In hindsight, starting a meditation practice was the best thing I ever did, but it sure wasn’t the easiest. Your mind is already racing at the speed of light, now your asking me to sit in a quiet, dark room for thirty minutes a day and calm my mind? yeah okay.
When my life coach at the time recommended I give body scan meditation a try, I figured I had nothing to lose so why the heck not. I started out doing it twice a day with a guided DVD, and at first it seemed impossible. It’s like going inside your head, while your head has been on high alert for so long and trying to turn down the noise. Yet I persisted, and after two weeks of practice I already noticed a significant decrease in my anxiety symptoms.
While the thirty minutes twice a day did the trick for me, it’s completely not necessary to see benefits. Check out this article from Delicious Living written by Karen Asp, on how to start a meditation practice in 5 easy steps.
You’ve thought about meditating, but no way could you sit still or even get your mind to be quiet.
Join the club. Everybody’s mind chatters, and who really has hours to meditate?
Fortunately, just one or two minutes is all you need, and it’s easier than you think. The bonus? “You’ll probably feel so relaxed and happy that you quickly progress to longer periods,” says Dina Kaplan, founder of The Path, a meditation studio in New York City. “If you do this consistently, you’ll notice real changes in your day.”
To get you started, Kaplan offers five simple tips:
1. Set aside two minutes every morning to meditate.
2. Sit in a chair with your back straight, the top of your head aligned with the ceiling and your feet on the floor.
3. Close your eyes. Focus on the sensation of your breath. What does it feel like as it enters your nostrils? Hot? Cold? Tingly?
4. When a thought comes to mind, smile to acknowledge it. Then gently bring your attention back to your breath.
5. After two minutes (or longer), open your eyes, smile and stretch your arms and legs. Congratulations, you’ve just started your day off mindfully.