“I’m a lucky son of a gun, I work 8 hours, I sleep 8 hours, that leaves 8 hours to fun!”Evelyn Knight and Ray Charles, released 1950.
Which is all well and good, however that was written in the 1950s and times have most definitely changed. Where in those 24 hours is the time for you, or more specifically, your mind?
In a technologically advanced era where work can become a 24/7 job due to access to social media and emails, downtime can easily turn into work when you are receiving emails at 10 pm at night. That is why it is more important than ever to have that dedicated hour to reset your mind, take a step back and evaluate your life, your priorities, and your general mental wellbeing.
Your mental health is as important as your diet, your exercise and unfortunately, even that mid-week glass of wine. It is about separating yourself from what you do aesthetically and for other people, including your work, family or friends and spending quality time with yourself.
When you hear the word ‘meditation’, your mind may jump to Japanese monks sitting in a deep trance hours or even days, however, it is becoming ever more recognised in the western world as a powerful approach to training the mind, similar to fitness is an approach to training the body.
- Find a quiet room
- Sit or lie down comfortably
- Close your eyes, we recommend using a cooling eye mask if lying down.
- Do not try to control your breath, simply breathe naturally.
- Optional: put on some headphones to stop you overthinking.
How to meditate (for beginners):
- Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
- Notice the movement of your body as you breathe.
- Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly.
- Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity.
- If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Slower respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
For 30 minutes to one hour a day, put your phone away (in a drawer with a lock if you have to!), step away from those emails, sit your children down with a film, we promise you, work can wait.
We are hurdling towards 2020 and we need to make sure we adapt our lifestyle so we are as strong and happy as possible when accessible 24/7.
There are many different services available if you are struggling to cope with any aspect of your life. We have met a lot of wonderful people who are working hard to break the stigma and help make your life better. You are no good to anyone if you are breaking or broken, speak out.