Meditation for health is the focus of this week's challenge. There are hundreds of meditation guides out there…But most of them ignore the fact that, as humans, we are incredibly lazy. Below I will show you a two-minute technique enabling you to achieve the same benefits as a 10 or 30-minute session.
Most of us are challenged in our daily lives. Information overload leads to stressful situations, including pressure to succeed and perform. Because of this, we exhaust our inner-energy quickly and our productivity and lust for life decreases – in the worst cases, we risk burning out. Stress and overload are also one of the biggest factors for emotional eating and overweight. The here presented strategy is especially useful for emotional eaters who are craving for stress release but eat instead highly palatable foods as a coping mechanism.
Health benefits of meditation
Wise people from different countries and cultures already know this centuries-old recipe to calm your mind.
Some call it meditation, others call it contemplation or prayer. The principle is always the same – the goal is to quiet your soul, let go of your sorrows and to concentrate instead only on being pure and present.
There are too many health benefits attributed to it to list them all – below I’ve listed just a few:
- stress relief
- lowered risk of heart disease
- enhanced sense of well-being
- a longer life.
With all these health benefits, meditation is also a wonderful method for self-discovery and relaxation on the way to your weight goal.
Victor N. Davich defines meditation as “the art of opening to each moment with calm awareness.”
It is not a magic quick fix, but a healthy habit everybody can learn. There are many quotes about meditation too…here is my favorite from Gandhi.
“I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”
This is so powerful; I think it says it all…
When you meditate, it is like recharging your batteries and regaining strength from a source that is deep inside of you. That way, you can increase your physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.
What you need is openness and the willingness to engage in this method. Give yourself the chance to test it out.
Best time to meditate
Ideally, you should meditate always around the same time. This simplifies the process as your subconscious gets used to it earlier. After a short time, you will recognize some welcome changes. You look more positive into the world, feel more vibrant, are more tolerant and you can enjoy your life more easily.
How does it work?
Some preparation measurements, certain attitudes, and also some knowledge about meditative methods can make practicing meditation easier.
Here are some basic preparation tips:
- No interruptions – Make sure that you are not interrupted in your meditation time. No telephones ringing and no children or partners should walk in on your session.
- Clothing – Wear comfortable clothes that don't compress you. I love to wear thick socks to have warm feet.
- Accessories – Maybe you want to use a scented candle to create a pleasant atmosphere. Please bear in mind that it can be counter-productive if the scent is too intense. Some people enjoy gentle relaxation music in the background as well.
The following two are the most common and useful meditation poses. Just test what suits you best:
classic position – For this pose, choose a not-too-mellow gymnastics mat. You can sit down in a tailor seat or a lotus position.
sitting on a chair – You can also sit straight up in the front part of your chair. Then, put your feet flat on the floor – your calves and thighs should form a right angle. Ideally, you don't lean against the backrest if you can.
On a side note: Some people prefer to sit with their back against something (like a chair back or wall). This position might give you a feeling of safety and will work too.
How do you meditate properly?
Switching from a hectic life into the meditation mode of peace and contemplativeness is not easy. The biggest challenge is to appease your loud and wild thoughts.
So…the very core place you will begin with is your breath. By the way, the majority of all exercises are based on breathing techniques. My two-minute approach is an easily digestible, bite-sized approach.
4 easy steps to meditate properly in 2 minutes
You want to become a relaxed and peaceful person by meditating once per day. Choose an appropriate trigger. I recommend the time in the evening after you’ve cleaned and shined your kitchen sink.
- Becoming still and quiet (0 – 30 seconds)
Try your best to become calm and still in this first 30 seconds. Focus on staying in your preferred position and slow down your thoughts. Closing your eyes can help.
- Focus on breath (30 – 60 seconds)
Now concentrate fully on your breathing. Start taking a breath through your nose and exhale it through your mouth. While inhaling, do a mental count of five, hold for a count of two, and exhale for a count of seven. Repeat again (3-4 times).
- Expand your awareness (60 – 90 seconds)
Now you broaden your awareness and fully accept your own body and all its sensations. When you realize that your mind wanders from breathing, just take note of it and don't try to push away the thoughts.
- Combine and close (90 – 120 seconds)
Now you should find yourself thought-free, yet focused, calm and spirited.
It is at this moment where all elements merge and you will find the most power. It is similar to a therapeutic trance condition that is hard to put into words.
Finally, take some deeper breaths and focus on the ground, cushion or chair on which you sit. Listen to sounds around you – when you are ready, just open your eyes.
Meditation for health – bottom line
Nobody can learn a new method from one day to the next. Look at these two minutes as a precious gift that you give to yourself. That way, this time is felt as something valuable – no matter how successful you are with your meditation.
Stick to this for two minutes a day; meditate for as long as you find it helpful – ideally for the rest of your life. It’s really an essential practice. You may want to take it to the next level with a yoga course.
Further reading: 96 best yoga quotes for motivation
Are you already practicing meditation?
Let me know, I'm curious! Please share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas in the comments below!
BTW, meditation is one of the 52 healthy habits I've packed in my 52 Chef Habits Course. Click below to learn more!