I feel like in some ways ‘meditation’ has also become one of those annoying buzzwords – in the same family as ‘gratitude’ and ‘mindfulness’. Which I think is a pity. All three of those things are so deeply nourishing for the mind and the soul, especially when done consistently over time.
At the New Zealand Wellness Association’s incredible event, Food for Thought (you can actually watch the whole thing right here!) in October, Erin O’Hara from Golden Yogi Studio described meditation as a ‘shower for your mind’. I don’t skip showers – I shower once daily; preferably twice. I don’t even think about it, that’s just what I do. I want to integrate meditation into my life the same way – something which doesn’t occur to me to skip.
Leading clinical nutritionist and founder of BePure, Ben Warren, often describes the mind as a juggling monkey – thoughts all over the show, left, right and centre. Stopping only when asleep. That juggling monkey needs a good wash.
And meditation isn’t difficult, either. It’s not just sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed for five hours, not thinking about anything. There are so many ways to meditate! I’ve made a little list of a handful of ideas. But I guess the most important thing is that one minute of meditating is better than no minutes, and the more you do it, the easier it’ll be to do. Stick at it, and build up at your own pace.
Here are four super easy ways you can start mediating, and nurture a moment of inner peace:
Think of the analogy: your mind is the sky, and your thoughts are clouds passing through. They’ll wander in, and they’ll pass. Sometimes there are no clouds, and sometimes the sky is overcast. But just observe the ‘clouds’ and don’t interact with them.
Count your breaths up to a certain number, and then back down. Remember to take slow, deep breaths into your tummy and exhale all the air you inhale.
Have a mantra you pull your mind back to whenever it begins to wander. It could be a sound like ‘om’ you say in your head or hum out loud. Or it could be a word or a phrase you repeat over and over until it doesn’t sound like a word anymore.
And my personal favourite – every night when I go to bed, in my head I commentate my breathing, ‘in, out’ until I fall asleep.