The practice of mindfulness through meditation can be extremely challenging in a world full of constant distractions. But don’t get discouraged, this is precisely why it is called a practice. You are practicing concentration through self-awareness. By observing your thoughts and emotions, you can gain insight into your thought patterns and habitual reactions.
For some individuals like me, meditation is a spiritual practice that fosters a deep connection with the inner self, the universe, and all that is. When I meditate, I typically practice for my overall wellness along with mental clarity in the business or emotional realm of my life. I like to pray prior to meditating. This way I can receive or meditate on receiving the answers to my questions during my practice. You would be profoundly surprised by what you might hear upon achieving a bit of peace and stillness.
But really there are a variety of ways to meditate, and that is what I’m going to go over today. What works for me may not work for you, or what doesn’t work for me you may love. So please take these suggestions with an open heart and mind.
The breathwork alone during meditation can help to achieve a positive state of lucidity. Focusing on the breath encourages awareness. You may notice tension or discomfort in certain areas of the body, and this awareness can help you release physical tension and promote relaxation.
If you’re like me, you may notice that you hold your breath or stop breathing when certain stressful thoughts cross your mind. This is why many of us I believe are constantly living in a state of stress; we’re forgetting to breathe through it. Mindful breathing can activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing the production of stress hormones like cortisol. Slow, deep breaths have the power to calm the nervous system and promote relaxation.
Three Easy Ways to Meditate:
1. In the Bathtub
As strange as it sounds this is my personal favorite way to meditate! The warm water and soothing environment promote physical relaxation. This relaxed state can help ease tension in your muscles and create a comfortable setting for your practice.
Meditating in the bathtub is beneficial for me simply because I don’t feel any pain in my body. Sometimes sitting somewhere for too long can leave your body feeling a bit stiff, so I enjoy that the bathtub helps to loosen all my body's strain.
However, when I’m not meditating in the bathtub, I do like to use my meditation stool. It sits at a slight elevation with a supported cushion to help relieve any back pressure you may have. I can’t live without this stool. I will link the exact one I have below.
Recently when I meditate in the bathtub, I have been listening to The Ella Ringrose Podcast. Specifically, episode #35 is titled “Manifesting Money (Subconscious Programming to Manifest Money)”. It’s only about ten minutes long, but I love either starting or ending my day with this lovely episode. Ella’s voice is sedative, and this brings me to another incredible way to meditate, guided meditation. I am linking the YouTube video below in case you don't have Spotify, as that is where I like to listen.
2. Guided Meditation
Guided meditation provides clear instructions, making it an incredible choice for beginners who may be unsure about where or how to begin meditating. I even love guided meditations for when I just want to be lazy and let someone else navigate me through my experience.
This form of meditation is powerful and makes me think of the quote “Two brains are stronger than one” because it’s so true. Two brains most certainly are more powerful collectively, so why not all someone to walk you through your practice? I have always found it easier to have transcendental experiences when I am being guided by someone else, so that is neat.
Guided meditations are widely accessible through apps, websites, podcasts, and meditation instructors. I have a few guided meditation episodes on my podcast, but I really enjoy doing them live. My biggest class was probably about twenty people, and the energy was incredible. I even gave out mini journals in case anybody had any fleeting thoughts that they wanted to hold onto during their experience.
I will link one of my guided meditations below in addition to my self-care journal. Both items in addition to the meditation stool are excellent tools for getting started on your meditation journey.
3. Meditation Before Bed
Many people sleep on the benefits of simply meditating their way into the dream realm. But what is something that every human physically does and must do? All humans need sleep. So if you’re someone who simply can’t find the time in your day-to-day routine to practice, then meditating your way into sleep will be a superb option for you!
It’s healthy to stop looking at screens at least a couple of hours before bedtime anyway, so there’s really no reason you wouldn’t be able to do this unless you are on your phone in bed or watching television to fall asleep. If you are on your phone in bed, make no mistake that the blue light can actually suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating sleep. Melatonin levels typically rise In the evening to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. Exposure to blue light around this time can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep.
If you find that your mind is still active or you’re unable to sleep, try not to become frustrated. Instead, continue to focus on your breath and maintain a sense of relaxation.
Generally, it’s very hard for me to fall asleep on the days that I don’t exercise. It is vital that I get my energy out somehow after sitting behind a computer screen most of the day. So whether it's YouTube yoga, a class locally, or a walk around my neighborhood I make it a point to do it so that I am tired at a decent time in the evening.
Once I’m in bed and ready to meditate my way into sleep but finding that I’m just having trouble reaching a state of relaxation and my mind can’t help but wander I will put on a guided sleep meditation, or brain wave therapy. I will link my go-to for guided sleep meditation below as well as a guided sleep meditation I have written and recorded available for streaming. Although I love my own and I’m happy that others love it as well, I don’t personally listen to it to always fall asleep. I think it would be weird listening to myself and myself only all of the time, so I like to switch it up and I am a huge fan of Michael Sealy!
Meditation is a lovely practice overall that offers a holistic approach to wellness, mental clarity, emotional balance, and physical health. I hope this article has inspired you to try a different form or method of meditation. Connect with me on Instagram and tell me which way was your favorite.
Until next time, stay Bloomie Brained. xx