HOW TO GET STARTED WITH MEDITATION
It’s been said that if you could bottle up meditation and put it into a pill, it’d be the biggest and fastest selling drug of all time. Imagine if you could take a small capsule that would:
- Help with your sleep quality and quantity
- Boost your mood and make you feel more optimistic
- Reduce feelings of stress
- Help you make healthier decisions
- Increase productivity and focus
- Decrease the associated feelings and attributes of aging
- Improve your immune system function
- Reduce your chance of getting sick
And many, many other things.
The issue is that people say “I can’t meditate! I’m too impatient.” Yet, if someone were to say to you “I can’t exercise! I’m too unfit,” then you’d tell them to stop being so stupid. You don’t meditate because you are patient, happy and stress-free, you meditate to become all those things.
Meditation is extremely simple, but it can be hard to start if you’ve never done anything like it before. We’re so used to filling up our time with as much thoughts and events possible, only ever stopping to eat or go to the toilet. Even then we’re scrolling through our phones or watching TV. All of the thoughts we collect over the day are pushed to the back were they niggle and nudge us, increasing our stress and causing a state of anxiety. Without addressing these problems and taking some time to slow down, they slowly build up and up.
Imagine your head as a new home with boxes you need to unpack and sort through. One box is fine, two boxes is OK, three boxes is a manageable, but then what about four, ten, fifteen different boxes, all of them of different sizes and shapes with various items inside. Soon your house is cluttered with random boxes that all need to be sifted through, taking what you need and what you don’t. Everywhere you go there’s a new box staring at you in the face. This is exactly what can happen when we don’t take some time to really understand what’s going on inside our heads. Everywhere we go, everything we do, we’re always thinking of a different collection of thoughts or events – some in the future and some in the past. We never fully live in the present, always thinking about what happened last week, month or year, or what’s coming up. We’re never in the right here, right now.
That’s the thing with emotions. Happiness can be created in the past, present and future such as when we reminisce on a certain occasion, enjoy time with our friends and family or look forward to an upcoming party. Yet, anxiety and worry are always things of the past and future. We worry about what we’re going to do or the consequences of our actions. We worry about events from the past that might come back to haunt us. If you’re fully concentrated on what’s happening in this exact moment, then these thoughts don’t matter. Remember, the past has already happened, the future doesn’t exist. You can’t change the past, and the future isn’t set in stone. Everything depends on your perception of the current moment.
The basic idea of meditation is extremely simple. You find a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes and shut out the world. Every time a thought enters your head, you let it flow through in and out without acknowledgement or aggression.