Everyone feels stressed from time to time, it’s a normal part of life. But when the stress you experience becomes overwhelming it can affect your wellbeing and even make you physically ill. One effective way of reducing stress is to try meditation – even if you dedicate just a few minutes a day to it and build up from there, you’ll start to feel the positive effects.

There are many proven benefits to meditation, including:

  • It boosts your immune system
  • It decreases anxiety
  • It helps to manage depression
  • It makes you more compassionate
  • It increases emotional intelligence
  • It makes you feel less lonely
  • It improves your memory
  • It improves your ability to multi-task
  • It improves your focus
  • It helps your ability to think outside the box

Common hurdles

“I don’t know how to meditate”

When you think of meditation, you may visualise robed monks chanting “Omms” and “Ahhs” whilst sitting in the lotus position. You won’t be expected to do this!  If you’d like a hand to learn how to meditate, you can download a free app called Headspace to guide you through what to do.

 “I can’t sit still for very long”

It’s a myth that you need to sit completely still whilst you meditate! It’s natural for your body to fidget and it’s okay to do this.  Just find a position you can sit comfortably in without lying down (as you’ll probably feel so relaxed it will be too easy to fall asleep!).

“I don’t have time”

Think about the hours you’d normally spend each day on social media, or watching TV. If you could cut down by just 20 minutes, you’d be able to devote this time to meditating. If that’s too much to begin with, find a few spare minutes then build up by a few more minutes each day.

“My mind keeps wandering”

Again, it’s natural when you start meditating for distracting thoughts to keep popping up in your head whilst you try to concentrate. Think of them like bubbles which rise to the surface of a bath – acknowledge them briefly, then try to get back to clearing you mind.

Meditation is a skill which takes a few trial runs to get used to. But, with so many fantastic benefits for your physical, emotional and mental health, it’s worth persevering with. Why not start a great habit and try it out today?

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