Posted on 02 November 2018
There’s a reason celebrities and successful business people do it… Meditation is not only proven to help you survive the obstacles you encounter on a daily basis, but also to overcome them. Depression and anxiety are constant pests pulling us away from our real selves, and meditation is a shield to defend yourself from the onslaught, returning your mind to stillness in this fast-paced society we live in, closing your eyes, and shutting out the mayhem that pulls at you from every angle.
But meditation is not only blocking, it’s scoring points in the battle, like a prophylactic, it stops future attacks from happening. It takes many forms too, from mindfulness to Transcendental Meditation, all forms can be beneficial. At Mr Men’s Melbourne, we’ve come up with our four favourites to help you work out what the right style of meditation is for you.
Jerry Seinfeld, David Lynch, Ellen, Clint Eastwood… the list of practitioners goes on and on. Transcendental meditation, or TM, is a meditation that invokes the use of a mantra. TM is even taught in schools and prisons across the States and Europe.
To practice, TM requires silent repetition of a mantra that is unique to the person meditating, with the goal being to transcend your current state of being. The mantra is required to be kept secret, and repeating it brings the focus back to the meditating, effortlessly guiding you towards a return to stillness and silence. Usually done for 15-20 minutes, twice a day, TM has been known to improve focus and memory.
We’ve already talked about Mindfulness here, but it’s worth stating again the benefits of this art. Focusing on the task at hand sounds pretty straightforward, but stimulation and distraction are never too far away in this modern age. Mindfulness is simply the process of bringing one’s attention to the experiences occurring in the present moment. This is done through focusing on the breath, allowing all the irrelevant thoughts to leave your head, remaining aware and present in the moment.
Like most forms of meditation, mindfulness can help reduce stress, decrease anxiety and improve cognitive function. It even helps with a good night’s sleep.
To practice, simply close your eyes and bring your focus to your breath. Slow breathing in and out. This should get you started. Then to extend, try using mindfulness in everyday activities, focusing on the task at hand. As with all forms of meditation, practice makes perfect!
Guided Meditation is simply meditating under the guidance of a teacher. It’s perfect for anyone who’s not confident about how to get started, or needs help centring themselves and their breath. It can be hard, especially when you’re starting out, to know whether you’re doing there right thing or not.
To practice, there’s plenty of classes around – or you can download Headspace. It’s a great way to start on your journey, especially if you don’t have the time or money to enrol in a class. Simply stick your headphones in an away you go.
Body Scan Meditation
Sometimes called progressive relaxation, body scan meditation is one that allows you to scan your body for tension by imagining a wave drifting over you from head to toe, noticing any tense spots along the way to release them.
To practice, start at the feet, visualising each body part as you make your way up, allowing the imaginary wave to wash over you. In some forms, you are required to tense and relax your muscles. Body scan meditation can help to calm the nerves and may even help relieve pain.
So, there you have it. There are many more forms other than the four we have chosen so don’t be afraid to explore. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re getting nowhere in the beginning – with practice, it will come to you. And remember, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey!
By Andy Browne