Have you ever thought about sleep meditation to clear your mind and get ready for an incredible summer?
Time is flying but it’s not too late to start new routines and habits. Meditation is a great way to gain clarity, relieve stress, and feel happier and healthier.
The image of meditation is often painted as one of extreme discipline (which translates to difficulty for a lot of us) and one reserved for yogis and Buddhist monks. That image, however accurate, doesn’t limit meditation to those groups only. Meditation is something that can benefit everyone. It can help increase self-awareness, lower stress levels, and improve all areas of life.
Meditation is an amazing tool that can help us feel calmer when faced with difficult and stressful tasks. The more we practice it, the more we engage parts of the brain we typically don’t use. It helps us control emotion and anxiety responses, lengthens attention span, generates kindness, helps to fight addictions and may even reduce age-related memory loss.
The thing about meditation is that you must practice it in order to create a habit. For most people, meditation doesn’t come easy because it does take some level of discipline and focus. It requires the ability to sit alone, quietly for any given amount of time. I’ve been practicing for years and only now am I able to sit or lie through a 15-minute meditation without falling asleep.
Starting something new can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, we’re living in the day and age when meditation resources have never been more accessible. We don’t have to purchase books, visit libraries, or even attend classes to get started. Everything we need is in the palm of our hands and at a Google search away!
One of my absolute favorite apps to use to help guide my meditations is Insight Timer. I love it because I have struggled with my meditation practice for years and this app helped to change my approach. The app has many features so you can tailor your meditation experience to your needs.
I personally like to pick my guided meditations by category. Sometimes I need an energizing meditation, sometimes I need something to lift my spirits, and at other times I just need something to help me get to sleep.
This app has something for everyone. There are even options to pick your meditation based on how long you’d like to spend meditating or the types of sounds you’d rather hear. There are a bunch of other resources within the app including workshops, podcast discussions, and access to the teachers.
Insight Timer has over 3,000 meditations and 25 languages! Of course, with most apps, there are options for paid upgrades, but the free version has met all of my needs and I recommend it to anyone, beginner or otherwise. Insight Timer is available in Android and iOS stores.
Another great app is Aura. This app provides 3 to 20 minute daily meditations and is equipped with tools to help you track your mood. The app also has nature sounds, short stories, life coaching, music, and a gratitude journal. This app is also available in Android and iOS stores.
Podcasts are a great way to hear about the experiences of others and to also find teachers and speakers that you relate to. Some of these podcasts lead conversations surrounding holistic health, self-care, and the science and benefits of meditation, while others focus solely on guided meditations. Some of my favorite podcasts centered on this discussion are Black Girl In Om and Meditation Oasis.
No surprise here.
YouTube has everything you’d ever need, so there’s no way wellness discussions, tips, and guided meditations would be exceptions. With a search, you can find all types of meditation tools. This includes but is not limited to sound baths, music, guides, and tips).
With all of these free and low-cost options, there are plenty of reasons to try adding a few minutes of meditation to your daily routine. In order to really get the hang of it, you should practice every day, even if it’s only 2-5 minutes.
The consistency will not only help you get into the habit, but it will also actualize the holistic experience that meditation is known to deliver. Get comfortable and focus on slow, deep breathing to slow the heart rate, relax and increase concentration.
Quieting our minds can be challenging, so don’t be disappointed if your mind wanders. Just take a few deep breaths and find your way back. Your setting is also very important. Find a space and try to stick with it. It should be a quiet place with no disturbances.
With the many benefits of meditation, it’s worth giving a try. Once you’ve gotten your groove and found what works for you, it all becomes second nature!