Meditation is food for the soul
Manage stress and improve your concentration by practicing mindfulness.
Feeling overwhelmed, anxious or tired? Meditation can bring an instant calming perspective to your life in as little as two minutes. The benefits are numerous; it can reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, sharpen concentration and improve circulation.
The most basic meditation practice is mindfulness and it’s easy to learn. However, one size does not fit all and the key is finding the right fit for you. There are guided meditations online, useful meditation apps, and even brain-sensing headbands to help you stay focussed.
Get started with these simple mindfulness techniques
The 100 breaths technique: The easiest way to begin is by focusing on breathing, the cornerstone of all meditation. Take a long deep breath and feel your breath move from your lungs and out of your nostrils or mouth. Count your breaths. Try not to think about anything else but if your mind does start wandering, simply bring it back to your breaths. Brains are thought factories and it takes some practice to focus your attention.
Do a body scan: Take notice of how each body part feels, starting with your toes and working up to your head. Tense and relax each muscle as you go. If your mind races off, come back to your toes and start again.
Be an observer of yourself: When you’re feeling particularly volatile, imagine you’re watching yourself on a movie screen. Stepping out of the situation for a moment before reacting to it will give you an instant, calming perspective.
Chores with purpose: Focus on your senses when doing mundane tasks like washing the dishes. Feel the warmth of the water, listen to the sounds of the soapy bubbles popping, take in the fragrance of your detergent.
Mindful walking: This is a great tool if you are always on the go or if you are new to meditation and find yourself especially restless when you try to sit still. Simply walk at a slow or medium pace, focusing on your feet – pay attention to when your toe touches the ground, when your foot is flat on the ground, when your toe points back upward. Observe sensory details. If you mind wanders – and it will – bring it back to your feet.