Have you ever thought about meditation? We hear a lot about it especially in the personal growth, spirituality, and holistic wellness industry.
It’s not surprising, meditation has been around for thousands of years. Once, only done by monks and mystics, and then made popular by Buddhists and yogis who opened our western eyes to the possibility of enlightenment through meditation.
Enlightenment is the ultimate goal and maybe someday—fingers crossed—we make it to that exquisite end, but sometimes, because life can be overwhelming, we need the more immediate sense of relief and happiness that meditation can bring.
I’ve meditated for over 20 years and have found it to be a saving grace. With that said, my “meditations” are probably not the traditional ones you hear of — the kind where you sit in lotus position for hours on end, clearing your mind, and achieving a blissful state.
Sometimes I do feel blissful during and after meditation, but bliss isn’t always my goal. I use meditation to support my healthy, happy, and timeless way of being. As such, my meditation styles or methods will vary.
As a life-coach, I ask all my clients to do some form of meditation. For those who are very new, their practice may only last 1-3 minutes. For others, it may be as long as 20-30 minutes. The end results are the same — people who have a consistent stillness practice are happier and healthier overall.
Here are three types of meditations I use and recommend to support a healthy, happy, and timeless way of being.
How to Meditate For Health
Do a focused belly-breathing meditation.
Use focused belly breathing to de-stress, take a “time-out,” and / or collect your thoughts. It can be completed in 1 minute or done for as long as you are able.
Sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor with your back straight. Good posture is important in meditation because it helps the physical process of breathing and eases the pressure on the back and joints. You may also lay down which I recommend for first-timers as it is much easier to feel belly breathing in this manner.
Once you are in your desired posture, place your hands on your belly. Begin to inhale through the nose—mentally counting for 5 seconds—as your belly expands. Then exhale through the nose for 5 seconds, letting your belly contract and made smaller.
Try to avoid moving your chest and shoulders as you breathe. The more you practice, the better you will become at keeping this area still. Chest and shoulder movement during breathing is indicative of poor breathing habits and can contribute to health concerns such as anxiety, dizziness, and fatigue. Belly breathing is the appropriate way to breathe. It uses your diaphragm, your prime breathing muscle.
Focus on your belly breath for 5 breath cycles. A breath cycle is 1 inhale of 5 seconds and 1 exhale of 5 seconds. You should be able to accomplish 5 breath cycles in about 1 minute. If you wish to practice longer, keep focus, and continue with the slow and measured breaths.
When you meditate for longer periods of time, you may want to focus on how your belly expands and contracts — feel your muscles move as they aid in the breathing process. Observe your breath as it enters your nose and travels to your lungs and diaphragm. Imagine its path as it travels back out through your nose. Contemplate where else your breath travels within your body.
When you focus on the intricacies of your breathing, you quiet the mind of all other distracting thoughts and thus begin to achieve a more calm state. Through focused belly breathing you will gain more clarity and peace of mind which contributes to your overall well-being.
Meditation will also improve blood circulation — sending oxygen, nutrients, and aiding in the removal of waste in the body. A consistent stillness practice of deep breaths can help regulate blood pressure, normalize hormones, and even improve digestion.
How to Meditate for Happiness
Do a mantra meditation.
Mantra comes from Sanskrit words that mean to “free the mind.” It can be a sound like “OM” or a positive phrase repeated to elicit understanding, awakening, and contentment. A mantra meditation can bring about a more blissful state.
Begin as you would if you were doing your focused belly breathing. Do 5 cycles of breath then repeat one of the following mantras for as long as you are able.
Aim to practice your mantra meditation for 15-20 minutes. Ideally you would want to do this 2x a day.
The benefits of this meditation are immediate. You will feel calmer, lighter, and happier the first time you do it. The more you practice, the more the feelings of happiness will stay with you. That is why it is good to do it twice a day because it starts and ends your day off right — with you being calm, centered, and happy.
How to Meditate to Support a Timeless Way of Being
Do a visualization meditation.
A visualization meditation is a practice where you steer the imagination to create a particular image and experience. You guide your thoughts to create an “alternate reality’.” You can of course visualize anything you want, but for our purposes of supporting a timeless way of being, we will visualize a reality where we are doing the things we would love to do with our time.
By the way, being “timeless” in my eyes means that you go about life feeling that “you have all the time in the world to do the things you want,” that “it’s never too late” for you to start—whatever—and sometimes, time even expands for you. (Say what?! Click here to see what I mean!)
So meditating on what you would love to be doing with your time is you asserting your power to be timeless — it’s you making time for your deepest desires.
For example you may want to be spending time on a tropical beach, enjoying the sun, listening to the waves, and reading a romance novel. Perhaps you would rather be rock climbing in Moab, Utah. It’s your imagination and your time, and so your are free to think whatever you like.
You could say this meditation is a type of daydreaming because it is. Have you ever noticed when you are in the midst of a good daydream that you are ‘zoned-out’? You are so deep in thought that all other things around you — sound, people, and even stress — fades to the background. Doesn’t that also sound like what happens when someone is in deep meditation? (Light-bulb!)
Depending on your visualization skills, this meditation can last from 5-20 minutes. Begin as you would if you were doing your focused belly breathing. Do 5 cycles of breath. Then start designing in your mind this alternate reality. Be specific and detailed. Use your senses to help you create your ideal experience.
Questions that may help create this positive dream scenario are:
- What is the weather like?
- And the most important question — how are you feeling?
When your visualization meditations are positive in nature, you will have a feeling of relaxation and bliss during and after the practice. Also, if you subscribe to the law of attraction — where you believe your thoughts create your reality — then you can use this style of stillness to manifest a reality where your time is spent doing the things you love.
Once you have created a consistent meditation practice—gaining the physical and mental benefits I spoke of—you will also notice and feel something else — you will start “shifting”.
You will begin shifting your thoughts, actions, and overall behavior to represent the love and light within yourself that you discover through meditation.
Even though enlightenment , higher consciousness, or self-knowledge wasn’t the goal of your initial practice, it is the inevitable result. Meditation begets more love, understanding, and freedom from our mind and ideas that prevent us from truly being timeless. So yes, enlightenment is still the ultimate goal. (Surprise! But you probably knew that!)
You can’t go wrong with any of these simple meditations I have shared. Try them and let me know how it works for you 😉
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If you need encouragement and guidance with your mind, body, and spirit wellness, then check out my life-coaching services.