Today is the fifth Sunday of 2021 and our fifth Self Care Sunday Idea, ‘Meditate in the Morning or have a Yoga Session’!
Self Care Sunday Ideas
Every Sunday we will be sharing a new Self Care Sunday Idea with you here on our blog and across our social media channels so be sure to check in with us
Idea 5. Meditate in the Morning or have a Yoga Session
Our fifth Self Care Sunday Idea is ‘Meditate in the Morning or have a Yoga Session‘.
Living fast-paced lifestyles, as most of us do, trying to balance work, family and social lives can take it’s toll on our mental and physical wellbeing. Practising meditation can bring a sense of calm and inner happiness to our lives and help promote feeling of peace and tranquillity that often times get lost when we are busy trying to juggle everything we have to accomplish on a daily basis.
The practice of meditation is a gateway into your inner consciousness, resulting in an enhanced awareness of your own existence and your overall relationship to the universe.
Meditation has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years and it has many different cultural contexts, some of which transcend the boundaries of any one specific culture.
According to Eastern philosophy, to meditate means to think on the eternal, or rather to expand your consciousness until you are at one with the universe as a whole. This philosophy is based on the belief that transcendental emotions like grief, euphoria or even love can fade away, but the universe is forever.
Meditation is often seen in Yoga classes and is widely practiced by a variety of cultures, countries and religious groups.
Even if you’re not interested in the metaphysical implications of meditation it has undeniable health benefits, making it the perfect self care tool. It incorporates many relaxation techniques that can help you erase the negative feelings that come with the stress of leading a hectic lifestyle.
Practising meditation can have positive effects on stress-induced illnesses like heart disease and high blood pressure. In conjunction with traditional approaches to medicine, meditation can target the root causes behind stress-based conditions by helping you to calm and clear your mind.
You don’t have to have any special tools or your private space, you can meditate anywhere you feel comfortable, sitting, standing or lying down, in a chair or on the floor.
Benefits of meditation
- Improved and promotes happiness
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces pain
- Improves brain health
- Improved sleep quality
- Lowers blood pressure
- Restores balanced function to digestive system
- Relaxes nervous system
- Relieves muscle tension
- Frees the mind from internal chatter
- Releases fears
- Generates optimism
- Increases confidence
- Increases motivation
Some of the more documented benefits of meditation include less anxiety, irritability, moodiness and decreased depression. It can help improve your learning abilities, memory and unlock creativity. It can also slow down the aging process increase feelings of vitality and rejuvenation. Not to mention it can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and produce higher blood oxygen levels.
After a hectic day full of meetings, deadlines and family responsibilities, we all need a little bit of relaxation. While there are many ways that you can unwind and relax one of the most effective and easy ways is meditation.
The idea of meditation revolves around the bringing your thoughts to a focal point for a certain amount of time. With practice, this will help learn how to put your mind to rest and allow your stressful thoughts fade away.
During meditation your breathing slows down, blood pressure is reduced, and your body becomes relaxed and rejuvenated.
According to the Mayo Clinic when you focus on one thing while you’re meditating it allows your other thoughts to pass by. In a multi-tasking world, paying attention to just one thing that can be daunting task for many of us. An easy way to get started is to simply listen to your breathing.
- Sit comfortably so you’re not distracted by physical pain, then close your eyes and listen to your breath
- Breathe in and out through your nose, but don’t otherwise try to control the rate or depth of your breath
- When thoughts try to crowd in on your meditation, let them fade as you refocus on listening to your breath. Feel how it flows down your throat. Feel your abdomen expand. Stay here as long as you can.
Practice your meditation daily (if possible) and work your way up to thirty minutes per session. Don’t get discouraged if this is difficult at first you will get better over time.
Here are a few of the most commonly used meditation exercises you can try for relaxation. They also help get rid of stress.
Tense and relax
Clench the fists and pull your forearms against your upper arms firmly. Keep all your muscles tight including leg muscles and jaws. Now breathe deeply for at least 5 seconds and then relax your body at once. You will feel the tension releasing sensations.
In this meditation exercise, you have to close your eyes and focus on the perfect relaxation spot. This is different for everyone. Select a place where you feel at peace like the beach, under a tree or in a field of flowers then paint a picture of it in your mind. Now imagine you are going there and let yourself feel like you really are. With practice, this will help you create a wonderful sense of well-being and allow you to relax no matter where you are.
There are many types of meditation, but the easiest form to learn is, “breath awareness meditation.” Compared to many other meditation techniques, this will enable you to experience the benefits of meditation in much less time.
Here’s a simple technique that will give you results in minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and tense up your whole body. Sigh deeply, then breath deeply through your nose and release the tension from every muscle. Just feel each part relaxing, watching for parts that may hold onto tension, like a tight jaw.
If you still have tension somewhere, tense up that part again, then let it relax. It may also help to repeat silently “relax” as the tension drains. This will train your body and mind to recognise relaxation. Later you may be able to relax more easily just by repeating “relax” a few times.
Breath through your nose. This is important because it brings in more oxygen by involving your diaphragm more. You can test this. Breath with your mouth and you’ll notice that your breathing is shallower. Then breath through your nose and you’ll notice that your abdomen extends more. Air is being drawn deeper into your lungs.
Allow your breathing to fall into a comfortable pattern, and pay attention to it. Pay attention to your breath as it passes in and out of your nose. Your mind may wander endlessly, but all you have to do is continually bring attention back to your breath.
If your mind is still too busy, try naming the distractions as a way of setting them aside. For example, say in your mind, “itchy leg,” “worried about work,” or “anger,” and then immediately return attention to your breathing. Use any way you can to identify and set aside distractions.
That’s it. Continue this for five or ten minutes, or around a hundred breaths. Afterwards, open your eyes and sit there for a few seconds. You’ll feel relaxed, and your mind will feel refreshed. You’ll also be better prepared for any challenges that come your way.
Meditation has so many rewards, and through daily practice, especially first thing in the morning, you can learn to release the unlimited potential of your mind and body.
Research suggests that if you meditate in the morning the benefits are enhanced because your mind is clutter and chatter free and the stresses of the day have yet to creep in.
The same thing can be said for yoga 🙂
It’s Good To Share
I would love to hear what type of meditation or yoga you find beneficial so feel free to submit your thoughts in the comments below.
Don’t forget to check back for next weeks Self Care Sunday Idea!
Happy Self Care Sunday, thank you being here. I hope your day is productive, mindful and intentional, much love Joanne
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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