We’ve all been in situations where our stress levels have peaked and the only way we could calm ourselves was by simply…breathing, deeper and slower. Have you ever noticed how just one deep breath can transform your body and ease your mind? How it can calm your racing heart, still your busy brain and allow you to gain a clearer perspective on a situation? If you know what I am talking about, then you have experienced the benefits of meditation without perhaps even realising it.
Meditation is a buzz word these days and it has its yay- and nay-sayers. And then there are some of us somewhere in the middle who like the idea of meditation but don’t quite know what it involves nor what to expect. If this sounds like your response to meditation, then this post will help clarify what it is and how it can benefit you, especially in terms of holistic wellness.
Many people think meditation involves taking loads of time out of your day, lighting a few incense sticks and chanting “ommm” over and over again. While we certainly aren’t opposed to this, did you know that meditation is something you carry with you all the time, and can practice at any time of the day? Meditation comes from within so this makes sense.
Meditation has some remarkable benefits and, as an ancient practice for overall well-being, it is certainly tried and tested. We’ve some tips to help you meditate at work, home or even at play. You never know when you might need a little time out…
What is Meditation and Why You Might Need it
Meditation involves simply calming the mind through a series of deep breaths, mantras or visualisation techniques, or is a combination of all three.
It can be done anywhere, anytime, and you can choose a position to suit you – either cross-legged on the floor or a pillow, or lying down with your arms resting gently at your sides. If you are at home, you might choose to light some candles or burn some incense to help set the mood. We especially recommend diffusing some essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine to help calm your nerves and prepare your body for your practice. Again, this is optional. If you have just five minutes, and you are at work, then all you need is yourself and a quiet space.
Meditation helps you to become aware of your body, and in this way you can release tension from areas you didn’t even realize were tense. It’s counterpart is mindfulness as it too calls upon you to be in the present, clearing your mind to focus on your breathing without distractions.
Meditation Wellness for Slow Aging
Too often, we run around getting on with our day, without truly paying attention to our bodies. How often do you realize that you are taking shallow breaths that are increasing your agitation? Or do you ever stop and realize you’ve been hunching your shoulders up all day?
Meditation is all about bringing you back into the present moment, because at the end of the day, all that matters is this moment, right now. By practicing meditation daily, you will start to notice some wonderful and positive changes in your life.
Here are just a few of the incredible health benefits meditation can provide:
- Lowers stress levels
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Increases optimism and creativity
- Improves your sleep
- Enhances self-esteem and confidence
- Boosts memory
- Strengthens the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Amps up energy levels
- Reduces inflammatory disorders
Apart from all these health benefits, did you know that meditation can also help to keep you looking young and radiant? Meditation can do this by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are high due to prolonged and intense stress, it can start to affect your skin cells by breaking down collagen. So by reducing the stress in your life, and lowering your cortisol levels, you will not only feel so much better, but this newfound health and energy will show on your face too!
What Meditation Is Best For A Later Life Beginner?
The best meditation for a beginner is mindfulness meditation. This involves breath awareness, as well as a body scan. The first few practices may seem like a bit of a challenge because you’ll find your brain starting to wander off into thinking; thinking about your plans for the day, your work schedule, you name it. This is completely normal, so don’t get discouraged. The trick is to stick with it, because like anything, it’s going to take time to train your brain to relax.
How To Get Started
Getting started is the hardest part, but once you start you’ll wonder how you managed before bringing this beautiful practice into your life. Fortunately, there are loads of available resources to make your journey that much easier.
One of our favorite meditation apps is called Insight Timer. This app includes thousands of free meditations that range from just one minute to hour long sessions, so you can truly find one suited to your lifestyle.
For a list of some other meditation apps you might find useful then click here.
Overall well-being is about more than just one thingl it’s about the combination of things such as exercise, healthy eating and relaxation practices that can completely transform your life and allow you to wake up feeling rejuvenated and refreshed every single day.
Make a date with your inner self and book out some meditation time for holistic wellness and beauty that’s lasts a lifetime!