Mental health is something that a lot of people struggle with. The majority of adults will experience some form of mental health difficulty in their life, and the rates of depression, anxiety and stress are all increasing. Meditation can have a positive impact on your mental health, but it isn’t always as easy to do as it sounds. It’s not just about sitting in silence for 20 minutes! Many people find it hard to get into the habit of meditating regularly. That being said, there are many proven benefits mental health in general and meditation in particular. If you’re someone who struggles to get your meditation practice going from time to time, here are five ways you can improve your mental health with meditation:
Set yourself up for success
The best way to ensure that you’ll have a successful meditation practice is to set yourself up for success. This includes making sure you have the right kind of environment and the right kind of support. If you have noisy neighbors, a busy household and a lot of things going on around you, you may find it easier to meditate if you find somewhere quiet to do it. This could be the corner of a library, a quiet room at work or even a dedicated meditation room in your home. If you find yourself constantly feeling stressed out, you might benefit from joining a support group or connecting with like-minded people online.
Focus on your breath
This is a great way to help you ease yourself into a meditative state. As you concentrate on your breath, you can help to quiet your thoughts and calm your nervous system. This is one of the most basic and fundamental meditation practices out there. By focusing on your breath, you can help to take your mind off the stresses and anxieties of your everyday life. When you’re practicing this technique, try to focus on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. It’s important to maintain this focus without getting carried away by other thoughts or distractions. If you do find your mind wandering off as you’re trying to meditate, that’s totally normal. Instead of getting frustrated with yourself, gently acknowledge the thought and return your attention to your breath.
Meditate with music
Music is a powerful tool for cultivating calm and stillness in the mind. There are lots of guided meditation tracks out there that feature music, so you can incorporate it into your practice if you want to. You could also choose to play music that resonates with you on an emotional level to accompany your meditation. These could be songs that you used to listen to when you were younger or that have a special significance to you. Meditation with music is a lot less common than just sitting in silence, but it’s a great way to combine the therapeutic benefits of each practice. If you choose to play music while you meditate, try to focus on the feeling it evokes more than the words or melodies. Let the music help you to create a state of calm within your mind.
Find a meditative activity you enjoy
There are so many different ways to meditate, so you may want to try a few out to find one that really resonates with you. Traditional meditation is great, but there are also a range of other activities that can be used as a meditative practice. There are sensory meditations, like gardening or walking, which help you to focus on the present moment rather than your thoughts. You could also try creative meditations, like painting, writing or playing an instrument. There’s also mindful cooking, mindful walking and even mindful sex. There are a lot of different activities that you can use to focus your mind, so if you feel like you’re getting bored with traditional meditation, it might be worth exploring some of these alternative practices.
Commit to a daily practice
It’s important that you commit to a daily meditation practice if you want to see the full benefits of it. Studies have shown that meditation needs to be practiced for at least 8 weeks before the person experiences any benefits. If you’re trying to improve your mental health, you could start meditating for just 5 minutes a day, and gradually work your way up from there. If you want to get the most out of your meditation practice, it’s important to make it a regular part of your day. You could try to meditate at the same time every day, and make it a routine that you don’t break. If you’re trying to improve your mental health, meditating is a great place to start. Even if you have a busy, stressful life, you can still find the time to fit it into your day.
Meditation is a great way to improve your mental health. It doesn’t matter if you’re already struggling with mental health issues or not; meditation can have a positive impact on anyone. It’s important to set yourself up for success by creating an environment that’s conducive to meditation and finding ways to focus your mind. It’s also important to commit to a daily practice if you want to see the benefits of meditation.