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“Meditation is like multivitamins for your brain. Good to take every day.”
Meditation, to me, is like brussel sprouts. It’s like, ‘Yea, I know it’s good for me. Thanks anyway. But, I think I’ll pass.’ And just like brussel sprouts, all the amazing benefits of meditation aren’t immediately felt.
But if you really want to conquer your worry and anxiety, don’t let that stop you. Meditation is good for us in so many ways mentally, physically, energetically, and spiritually. The funny thing is you don’t even have to be good at it to reap its rewards. Fifteen minutes a day is all it would take. Even ten minutes a day is better than nothing. Even five minutes is better than not meditating at all. In fact, a little later in this post, I’m going to show you how to cheat at it.
Now, I’m not a purist in any way. So, unless you want to reach complete spiritual nirvana or practice someday with Tibetan monks, here are all the things you don’t need to meditate:
- A field
- A robe
- Pretzel Legs
- Complete silence
- Hours and hours
What you do need to meditate:
• A place to sit or lie down. It doesn’t even have to be a quiet place. Any place will do. Just not when you’re driving or during a time when you need to be alert.
• An attitude that you’re most likely going to be pretty bad at it at first, like the rest of us. Maybe even for a long time. But, you’ll be getting better at it the more you make it a regular practice even if it doesn’t always seem like it.
Here are the keys to meditation. Again, I just want to remind you that I’m not a meditation expert or teacher or anything like that. This is my personal experience with making meditation a daily part of my life and in my research.
- Studies have shown that on average, we have one thought per second streaming through our minds. This is not the case for everyone, but we can use this general statement here. That means we have 900 thoughts in fifteen minutes. Meditation is not about having no thoughts. That’s impossible. You’re not trying to shut down your thoughts. It’s about focusing on one simple monotonous thing so it feels like that. It’s about directing your thoughts.
- When your mind wanders, just gently bring your focus back. With 900 thoughts flowing in during a fifteen minute session, your mind will wander. Just get used to letting those thoughts float by and refocusing. Here are some things you can focus on during your meditation:
- A word or phrase. There are specific mantras for meditation that you can research and use. Like the mantra, ‘Om’. You can also use your own words or phrases. Like, ‘calm’ or ‘inner strength’, for example.
- A candle or object.
- A sound out in nature, like the sound of birds chirping, a river flowing, or trees rustling. Call them up on Youtube, if you’re inside.
- A repetitive sound, like a refrigerator running or an air conditioner humming. ● Instrumental music. You could go to Youtube and search for meditation sounds or meditation music to find some.
- You can enhance your meditation with subliminal videos on Youtube. This is a fascinating subject that you can research. There are different types of subliminal input that are known to help reprogram your subconscious mind. There are things like binaural beats, healing frequencies, and subliminal messages that I personally love listening to. They are all at frequencies that are not picked up by your conscious mind so it just sounds like you’re listening to waves crashing on the shore or repetitive music, for instance.
- Speaking of Youtube, there are tons of guided meditations that walk you through different types of meditations. I absolutely love them and highly recommend that you explore them. To get started, go to Youtube and search any issue you want to work on or goal you want to reach. Anything at all. There will be plenty of guided meditations for it. And as you get more comfortable with them and start using them regularly, you’ll gravitate towards some of your favorite guided meditation creators. These creators are usually people who are long time experts in their field. You can then go to their websites and learn more from them, as well.
- I believe there are two main goals with meditation. The first is to make it a habit. And the second goal is to strive to go deeper with your meditations. The simple reason for this is because we are usually in the alpha brainwave state when we meditate. There are lots of great, healthy benefits to being in this state. But, as you go deeper, you go into the theta brainwave state and the benefits of this state are more amazing.
Here is what some familiar people say about meditation:
“The deeper you go, the quieter it gets. The more radiant it gets… quiet, deep, empty, serene, complete, boundless.”
“It feels good. Kinda like when you have to shut your computer down, just sometimes when it goes crazy, you just shut it down and when you turn it on, it’s okay again. That’s what meditation is for me.”
“The one thing I want to do is center myself every day and make that a practice for myself. Because I’m 1,000 percent better when I do that.”
Think You Can’t Meditate?
“We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”
Let me ask you: Have you ever sat in a jacuzzi and let your body relax, felt the hot water and bubbles around you, and listened to the rhythmic rumbling of the water for a little while?
How about sitting by a campfire on a summer night being mesmerized by the flames? How often have you laid on a blanket in the sand at the beach, soaking in the sun’s rays, listening to the crashing of the waves?
Or floated on a pool mattress for what seemed like hours?
Congrats! You can (sort of) meditate.
Do you notice how you just get taken in by all that your senses are absorbing during times like these? And your mind seems to get swept away to Nowhere’s Ville. So, there you have it. How to cheat at meditation.
Since you know that meditation is so incredibly good for you, why not take advantage of these times that seem to mimic meditation. Your brainwaves are actually going into the alpha state during these times which, as I mentioned, is the state we are in during basic meditation. So when you find yourself by a cozy fire on a cold winter night or laying peacefully on a giant blow up flamingo in the pool, take some extra steps to meditate. Close your eyes and just settle in. And no one has to know you’re giving your mind and body some extra zing.
Practice ‘cheating’ this week. When you find yourself in a really relaxing situation bump it up by intentionally sneaking meditation into it.
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Thanks for reading!