People want ways to feel well and to relieve stress. So what do we know about meditation?
The use of meditation and mindfulness as an adjunct to conventional medical therapies for conditions such as depression, anxiety and chronic pain is used more and more each day.
Meditation can help to:
reduce stress and manage pain;
increase focus and self-awareness;
support addiction recovery;
improve age-related memory loss; and
generate an overall sense of wellbeing.
But where to start?
Meditation styles, preferences and practices vary widely. Some people find it best to focus on their breath and others to chant a mantra. Some prefer listening to guided meditations while others prefer to stare quietly at a point on a wall. Some like to stand, others to sit, and some turn to walking meditation. Others are driven by their chronic health conditions to lie down.
However you choose to meditate, the more often you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become at doing it and the more benefits you’ll reap.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Cultivate curiosity in your search for what feels right and works best for you.
If you think you’d prefer to meditate in community rather than alone, look for a workshop or group that may be part of a yoga or healing arts centre or a healthcare facility.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many meditation groups and organisations took their practices to Zoom. Joining online from home may help you take the leap sooner rather than later.
Some groups and workshops are free to join, and a contribution of a size you can afford may be expected. Others charge a small fee to cover expenses related to gathering.
Be wary of anyone who expects you to pay large amounts of money, promising to turn you into an overnight yogi and the like.
If you have a smart phone, apps (see link below) can be great for newcomers to help in building good habits. You have plenty to choose from when it comes to meditation, and some of them feature free versions.
That said, the opportunity to practice in a community of like-minded people who support your efforts is a great gift.
Here is a link to 9 free mediation apps that we think you might find useful.
Here is a link to 6 mediation apps that come with a premium (paid for) service, the reviews look really good so it is worth checking them out.
Above all, start small and be consistent. Pat yourself on the back for showing up or even downloading that app, even if it’s for a single minute.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.