The M word / by Anita Cheung

Don't feel daunted by the word, Meditation takes many forms and is simply the act of being mindful and quieting the chatty mind. You've probably heard the benefits (ranging from decreased anxiety & stress, improved focus & moods, feelings of relaxation and happiness, etc.) and maybe you're still a little wary to try taking on a practice. Maybe your reasons to avoid meditation sound like any of the following:

 

"I don't have time."

Do you have 10 minutes? How about 5? Or 2? Meditation doesn't have to be for a long amount of time in order to experience the benefits. Even if you can devote two minutes of your day (I like to do it just before bed), that's a great start. Eventually you may want to lengthen the amount of time that you meditate, but start small. The key to success is to set measurable and achievable goals and if you're diving straight into the 20 minute meditation deep end, it's no surprise that you feel put off or daunted by meditation. 
 

"I'm not good at it."

We all have to start somewhere! The key is to meditate without judging yourself. If your mind wanders, simply notice that it's wandering and bring it back. Avoid being frustrated with yourself and stay compassionate. We were all beginners once. Saying you won't try it because you aren't good enough is like saying you're too dirty to shower. (Note: I wish I could take credit for that quote but it's from Eoin Finn, a well known surfer-yogi from Tofino.) 
 

"It's silly. I don't feel any different" 

Just like the benefits of positive changes to your diet take a while to manifest in your body; sometimes the benefits of meditation are not immediate. For some of us, we instantly feel more calm and focused. For others, it may take two or three meditation sessions before we notice anything. Additionally, different methods of meditation work better for different people. Which leads me to my next point...
 

"I don't know how."

No problem! There are plenty of meditation videos, podcasts, and classes around. Mindful breathing is one of my favourite ways to meditate and is outlined in this blog post. Alternatively, one of my favourite meditation apps right now is Smiling Mind. It is "modern meditation" that is made accessible for people of all ages from 7-adult. 

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