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Easy meditation for inner calm & presence

Another way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. There are, generally speaking, 2 types of meditation – free meditation and guided meditation.

 


Free meditations are about letting your brain wander off to wherever it wants to go, and noticing where that is. So, noticing what thoughts come into your head and allowing them to pass, a bit like clouds passing over in the sky. The idea is not for you pick up the thought and run with it, or engage with it. The idea is that the thought comes in, you notice it's there and you watch it leave again. Then another thought will come in, you notice that it's there and you watch it leave again. Free meditation can be quite difficult for a lot of people, so a lot of people do get on better with guided meditations.




Guided meditations are where somebody is talking you through what to focus on; what to think about. Essentially a guided meditation is about focusing on something specific. An example might be a garden, so close your eyes and imagine yourself in a garden of your choosing. Allow your brain to build up the picture of that garden and then explore it. Walk around, notice what the floor is made from, the shape of the garden, if there are any green spaces, any flowers, maybe there's a water feature - what does it feel like to put your hand under the water? Is there a fence, wall or a gate, what's behind the gate, is there anybody else there, what's the weather like, what can you hear, are there any birds? Really explore the garden and all the different senses that garden brings – what can you see, hear, smell, feel, taste. Really immerse yourself in the experience. Like I said, it can be a lot easier to have somebody talk you through the meditation and there are lots of great apps to help with guided meditations.

 


One of the most popular of those is the Headspace app. Headspace has lots of different meditation courses based on things you might be struggling with. There are meditation courses for things like stress, anxiety, sleep, self-esteem, relationships, pregnancy, and many more. And for a lot of them you can choose the duration of the meditation, so you can do meditations that are 2-3 minutes long, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, half an hour; so there really is no excuse not to do one each day if it only needs to be 2 minutes long. There are various other apps too; the Mindfulness app and an app called Calm.



And there are mindfulness books such as ‘Mindfulness, Finding Peace in a Frantic World’ by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. This is a really great book with meditations and where you can read a bit more about how mindfulness works and the premise behind it.

 




So give it a go and see what type of meditation works best for you.

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