Meditation: How just 5 minutes left me relaxed and peaceful

05 Dec 2018,
By Phion C., Student at Durham University

Assignments due? Exams approaching? Feeling stressed? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. There are many ways to de-stress and relax, but my personal favourite is meditation.

Meditation is a lovely way to calm your mind, relax your body, and regain your focus. There are thousands of meditation traditions from around the world, but I find mindfulness meditation the simplest and most efficient. Beginners can use breathing as an anchor, just breathing normally to relax your mind and become mindful of your surroundings in any moment. So how do you meditate mindfully?

When I first tried to meditate, I didn’t realise it would change me.

Find a comfortable and relaxed position, seated on the floor or on a chair, keeping your back straight and head upright. It’s always easier to meditate with your eyes closed, feeling the sensations of your body resting on the chair, your feet touching the floor. Notice your own weight and movement, notice the sounds in your surroundings, from the inside to the outside of your room. From the inside, feel the flow of your breath, the rising and falling - whether it’s in your chest, your throat, or at the tip of your nose.

Sooner or later, you will find your mind starting to wander, thinking about other things. That’s natural. Just gently redirect your attention back to breathing - feel it, sense it. The simplicity of breathing, it’s always available to you.

From time to time during your meditation, you will find yourself getting lost in thought. Just relax and always return to your breath. You will eventually find yourself relax even more deeply and, by the end, you will find a sense of ease and wellbeing.

Read more: ‘How to meditate’ by David Gelles at the New York Times website

I highly recommend starting a daily habit if you want to get the most out of meditation. Your daily practice can be as short as you like, even one minute per day will do. I would suggest meditating once per day, preferably at the same time, to help you build a daily habit. You could also use a meditation app, but I would only recommend using an app for timing. I use Insight Timer myself for that purpose.

If you’re struggling with headaches, sleeping, or a low attention span, try meditating before doing any work and before sleep. Meditation can help to energise your body and help you find peace in the present moment by cultivating awareness.

When I first tried to meditate, I didn’t realise it would change me. But honestly, I’ve found a whole new level of relaxation and a peaceful mind. I hope it helps you find that too.

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By Phion C.
Student at Durham University