Calm­ing in­flu­ence

It’s not all about cross­ing your legs and hum­ming, you can med­i­tate any­where and at any time – even when putting the ket­tle on

EDP Norfolk - - HEALTH & FITNESS - WORDS: He­sham Ab­del­hamid

Med­i­ta­tion can be the key to open­ing the gates to new po­ten­tial; it helps with re­duc­ing stress, con­trol­ling anx­i­ety, en­hances self-aware­ness and length­ens at­ten­tion spans. Med­i­ta­tion makes wak­ing up for work eas­ier and it in­creases your sero­tonin lev­els – au­to­mat­i­cally set­ting you up for a suc­cess­ful day. It’s the art of con­nect­ing with your­self over and over again, pro­cess­ing your thoughts and in­creas­ing emo­tional in­tel­li­gence along the way – but what ac­tu­ally is med­i­tat­ing?

Ac­cord­ing to the Ox­ford Dic­tionary, med­i­ta­tion by def­i­ni­tion is ‘the prac­tice of sit­ting and think­ing deeply in si­lence, es­pe­cially for re­li­gious rea­sons or in or­der to make your mind calm’. Most first-time med­i­ta­tors will find it strange to sit in si­lence with their in­ner­most thoughts and feel­ings.

The most known process of med­i­tat­ing is straight­for­ward and easy: sim­ply stay still and prac­tice. All you have to do is stay fo­cused on your breath­ing, fo­cus on one thing at a time and let your mind do its thing. This is the one skill where you don’t have to strive to ac­com­plish some­thing – just a place of sound­less­ness where no ef­fort is re­quired.

In 2019, sit­ting still and fo­cus­ing can be ex­tremely hard. With our busy day-to-day lives and con­nec­tions through tech­nol­ogy, we tend to for­get that we need to take a mo­ment and re­cu­per­ate. You can med­i­tate any­where and ev­ery­where – all you need is a phone, head­phones and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Founder of Project Awesome Life and mind­ful­ness coach, Emma Dredge, says: “Med­i­tat­ing doesn’t have to be a chore be­cause it will be­come another thing on the to-do list. Also, there are many phone apps that make med­i­ta­tion ac­ces­si­ble and fun!”

Project Awesome Life, or PAL for short, is a mind­ful­ness class for cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ments and it came to flour­ish af­ter its founder started us­ing mind­ful­ness as a way to bat­tle de­pres­sion. Emma wasn’t look­ing for en­light­en­ment and strug­gled to sit still for 10 min­utes. “I re­alised that if I fo­cus on one thing at a time then my in­ner sabo­teur won’t get the best of me,” she laughs. “It will be bor­ing the first time, but keep at it! Five min­utes of still­ness ev­ery day are very doable. In­stead of scrolling through In­sta­gram just look out the win­dow and breathe.

“My stu­dents al­ways go on about how busy they are,” Emma says. “But you can med­i­tate in the of­fice by boil­ing a ket­tle. Just switch it on and as the steam is ris­ing, think about any­thing that’s wor­ry­ing you and imag­ine it evap­o­rat­ing with the wa­ter. That’s pretty much the point of med­i­ta­tion – find­ing calm­ness in the sim­plest of things.”

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