Are you ready to get your om on?
First things first, when meditating, don’t expect your brain to go blank – it’s one of the biggest misconceptions out there. The "nature of the mind to move from one thought to another is in fact the very basis of meditation," says Deepak Chopra. In fact, some types of meditation actually focus on being mindful to thoughts as they rise.
Experts suggest meditating twice a day – 20 minutes in the morning and then another 20 in the evening – for maximum impact. If you’re a novice, an app like Headspace, which was created by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, can really help. We also love the Calm app, which greets you with the gentle sounds of the outdoors, and provides ‘Daily Calm’ sessions, a mindful timer, and even singing bowl sounds to help get you in the zone.
How To Micro Meditate
Of course in a perfect world, we’d all be able to dedicate 40 minutes to meditation each day, but for most of us, this isn’t just impractical, it’s near impossible. The good news is, just a few minutes scattered throughout the day can be of benefit, to both the mind and the body. They’re called micro-meditations and they can be done for one to three minutes at a time.
You begin by becoming aware of your breath, maybe when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Now, rest one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe slowly and focus on your chest staying still, while your tummy rises and falls with every breath. When you inhale, think about breathing in positive energy, and when you exhale think about releasing any tension or negative thoughts. It can take as few as five breaths to feel instantly better.