No one is immune to the everyday stresses of life. Unfortunately, many people complicate their stress with unhealthy reactions, such as overeating or drinking. Dallisa Hocking—guided meditation teacher, psychic medium, and founder of Spirit & Spark—says it’s essential for people to find healthy ways to alleviate stress, so they can be happy and start living in the moment.
Although many people are intrigued by meditation, they dismiss the idea because they think it’s too difficult or think they will do it wrong. Hocking adds that meditation’s commercial image is intimidating, as it shows influencers with specific clothing in remote and captivating locations. “Don’t over-complicate your meditation process,” says Hocking. “If meditation becomes a source of stress, you are doing it wrong.” Hocking recommends dismissing what you see influencers and others doing regarding meditation and keep it a simple, individual activity.
Why Do People Meditate?
A lot of people misunderstand meditation and think it is a spiritual experience. Hocking says meditation has many purposes, and the spiritual aspect is only one, small part. In fact, Hocking says meditation doesn’t have to be spiritual at all. Meditation is usually about calming something inside your mind and body that is making life difficult.
Hocking offers three popular reasons people turn to meditation:
- People use meditation when they feel overwhelmed and need a source of calm.
- People use meditation when they feel lost or broken and want to find their way.
- People often turn to meditation when they are confused and want answers.
While meditation is most known for tackling emotions, some people use it for physical reasons—such as pain relief.
For those who are still skeptical, Hocking offers, “Meditation is a low-hanging fruit. It requires no extra equipment or clothing, and anyone can do it.”
5 Meditation Tips:
For those who have wondered about meditation, but have never tried it, Hocking offers these 5 easy-to-understand tips that will help you overcome your fear.
1. Do not meditate in bed.
Hocking says, “Unless it’s a sleep meditation, don’t confuse your brain by meditating in bed.” Your brain is programmed to know your bed is the place for sleep, and sleep and meditation are not the same. You want a calm sense of de-cluttering your mind, without falling asleep when you meditate.
Therefore, choose a specific place to meditate, such as a chair or a spot outdoors. If you meditate in the same place every time, your brain will come to know this as your “meditation place,” the same way it knows your bed is for sleep. This is not to say you cannot do impromptu meditation sessions in other places, but having a dedicated area in your home for meditation other than your bed will create a routine in your mind.
2. Don’t judge or compare your experience to others’.
Your meditation experience is yours and yours alone. It will not be like anyone else’s, so stop comparing your experiences with others’. Hocking states, “As long as you understand why you are meditating, you can’t do it wrong.” Hocking also explains that understanding why you are meditating keeps you focused and in your lane.
Meditation also takes some practice, but that doesn’t mean it’s complicated. Hocking recommends starting small and working your way into a 10-minute session. She also advocates beginners use a guided meditation from an app or by joining an online meditation session, such as the ones she offers through Spirit & Spark. However you access it, guided meditation often helps newcomers with the process and assures them they are doing it right.
3. Commit to the same time every day.
Having a dedicated time for meditation helps it become a routine. Maybe your meditation is the first thing after you get out of bed, or perhaps the last thing you do before leaving for work. Whenever you choose to meditate, try to make it a time that fits your schedule.
Hocking also recommends setting the scene as part of your routine. Maybe have a dedicated chair in a corner, and on the table next to it is your favorite candle. Or, maybe keep a specific oil near your place to meditate. The important part is not to overcomplicate your routine. Choose simple, natural-feeling actions and items in your regimen that create no additional effort or stress.
4. Set an intention.
Our minds go a million miles a minute sometimes. Meditating with an intention anchors your thinking and helps you focus. By maintaining a focus, this intention is isolated from the rest of your thoughts, and everything else in your brain fades to the distance.
Your intentions will depend a lot on what’s going on in your life. Beginners sometimes have a hard time choosing one, so Hocking recommends three, all-purpose intentions that anyone can use:
- What are you grateful for?
- What is one thing you love about yourself?
- What’s something you are excited for?
We can all benefit from reflecting on our blessings. By focusing on all you have to be grateful for, the negative stressors leave your mind. Another recommended meditation focus is taking an in-depth look and finding at least one thing you love about yourself. In a world where we always compare ourselves to others, we need to flip the switch and see the positive in the comparisons and not the negative. And, finally, focusing on something you are excited about builds more excitement and fills your mind with anticipation.
5. Write down your experience afterwards.
Keep a journal and pen in that dedicated meditation space. After meditating, don’t be in a hurry to rush off. Sit and contemplate for a couple of minutes. Then, take a couple more minutes to record your experience in your journal.
By taking these few minutes, your mind has time to process what it just experienced. Write down your intention, how your body was feeling, how your mind was working, and other vital details of the session. Over time, the record-keeping can help you see patterns and determine stressors in your life.
Meditation is an individual process that is meant to uncomplicate your life, not bring it more stress. From what you’ve learned here, you can dismiss all of the uncertainty and incorrect assumptions you had about meditation and give it a try. Use the five tips above to get started, and then, you’ll be hooked. With all of the hustle and bustle in your daily life, you owe it to yourself to take 10 minutes a day, just for you. Those 10 minutes per day can really add up over time, and you are the beneficiary.