A meditation practice is not a requirement for simple living, but it does help.
The act of meditating allows you to be more mindful. You become more aware of not just your surroundings, but the thoughts in your head.
Recognizing your thoughts, acknowledging them as simply constructs of your mind, opens you up to making real changes in your world view.
You “see” what you are thinking. The veil is lifted on anxious thoughts, negative self-talk, or obsession over that which we can’t control.
Getting Started with Meditating
The best place to start with meditation is through a guided meditation. This is where you have a teacher walking you through the exercise of meditating. They will guide you through the process, and give you queues to improve your practice.
Here are a few ways to find a guided meditation:
- YouTube – Just searching “guided meditation” in Youtube will turn up some results. These are good for somebody who has meditated before, but is looking for a different meditation to try.
- Headspace – A great app for beginners looking for a program is Headspace. In addition to guided meditation, there are short animated videos to help explain the purpose of meditation. Many of their series are focused on examining emotions and negative thinking.
- Waking Up – A more recent app that a friend shared with me is Waking Up. It’s another great guided meditation app, with content that is more focused on controlling your mind and the psychology behind our thoughts.
When to Meditate
There is no perfect time to meditate. It’s a personal preference on when you want to take the time to slow down and observe your thoughts.
For many people, myself included, first thing in the morning is the preferred time. I personally enjoy starting my day by observing my thoughts, which allows me to be more mindful throughout my day.
Another popular time is in the evening before bed. This is a good time to try meditating for people who have racing thoughts at night. Or, it can just be a relaxing way to examine your thoughts after a day of activity.
With smartphone apps, you can really do a guided meditation anytime, anywhere. Taking a 15 minute break in the middle of the day can help you refocus as well.
This post is Day 8 of 21 Days of Simple.