Understanding how to balance your life with meditation
Many people lead busy lives, but the pressures have increased exponentially during the pandemic. COVID-19 has caused fear to be a common emotion for many. Thousands of people are working from home, placed on furlough, or have been made redundant; parents are trying to support children whose education has been impacted; business owners are wondering how much longer they will be able to survive; and, of course, the many thousands of key workers coping with the unrelenting stress of maintaining essential services. Stress and anxiety are commonplace and can be the precursor to a weakened immune system and illness. Does this sound like you? If it is, understanding how to balance your life with meditation could help you reduce stress levels and lead a more contented life, despite all the challenges we face.
Discover your inner life
In the West, most people are naturally externally focused and as such often tend to neglect their inner life. When I say inner life, I mean listening to what is going on inside of you, to your thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations that arise in your physical body.
A neglect of attention to one’s inner life tends to lead to a sense of having to rush around to get everything done which inevitably leads to excessive stress and anxiety. The truth is that balance is a delicate juggle. And yet we need to create a balance between our inner life and our outer life, in order to feel in harmony.
Few people are truly happy and this neglect of our inner life is one of the reasons. I am sure that you already had a suspicion that life was not meant to be one long struggle or one of constant doing, and you are right! We are meant to have balanced and contented lives.
Trying to juggle life’s challenges can become a one-sided focus and as such people are often not as connected with themselves as they could be. One of the reasons may be the apparent lack of time, but another could be that considering oneself is not a priority, or that they do not realise the value internal focus could bring to their lives.
So, this being the case, how can we create balance in our lives, so that we can thrive? To thrive we need to meet our material needs and also to be centered inside. How can we successfully do this?
Meditation is one of the best ways to search within and find that inner peace and understanding how to balance your life with mediation is more important than ever.
To quote my teacher:
Meditation is worth gold!”
How to get started with meditation
Set aside a time of the day, for personal quiet time, time to be with yourself. Sit down somewhere quiet, where you will not be disturbed. You will need to be comfortable enough, but not so much so that you will fall asleep.
Sit in a way that you can forget about your body for a little while. You can sit on a chair or armchair, with feet flat on the floor or cross-legged. It is important that your body does not hurt, due to the posture you have assumed, for meditation.
Place your hands on your lap, with palms uppermost on your thighs or with the left hand in your right hand and palms facing upwards. You can use a meditation app and set it for 15 or 20 minutes if you have never meditated before. Play some relaxing music, if you want to, such as the You Tube deep sleep music below, or you can meditate without music.
Try this simple meditation
Close your eyes. Begin by leaving the outside world behind and use your concentration on the meditation instead of focusing on anything else.
If your mind wanders away during the meditation, bring yourself back again and again to the meditation.
Now visualise a beach, picture the waves gently lapping against the shore. Let the music take you or focus on the sound of the waves. Allow yourself to relax and let go of the thoughts in your mind. Simply sit and pay attention to the music and/or the sound of the waves of the above meditation music. Enjoy this meditation until 15 – 20 minutes have passed. It is beneficial to do this before going to sleep at night, as you may be more relaxed after the meditation and sleep better.
You can find several other visualisations on the Healthy Life Essex website.
Spend some time daily in meditation
By spending some time each day in stillness and silence i.e. by balancing your life with meditation, you have embarked upon the path towards inner harmony, balance and well-being.
For those of you who have not tried this yet, I would really like to say that you have missed something incredibly enriching. People who meditate have an inner sense of contentment. They have self-awareness, which enables the practitioner to take better care of themselves and their needs and be more productive in their work. It increases your emotional intelligence too and makes you resilient in times of stress.
For those of you who have tried it but not pursued it, this is a good time to take it up again. Meditation helps us to become much more mentally and emotionally balanced.
By starting your day with meditation, you begin the day, in a fantastic way, with clarity and focus and it sets the scene for the day ahead. Perhaps you start work early and cannot do this in the morning, in which case, you can do it in the evening. This will enable you to empty your mind of work stress and you may feel more relaxed and sleep better. Clearing your mind before going to sleep is a wonderful way to wake up refreshed.
Did you know that what is in our mind when we go to bed, we wake up with the next morning? If you have ever been depressed then you will have experienced this.
Meditation helps us connect with our inner voice
Meditation will pay dividends many times over. It is like a holiday for the mind!
Only by mind training, which is what meditation is, can we ride the waves of this material world successfully.
In order to thrive, we must make time for inner silence and peace. Understanding how to balance your life with meditation is essential. To simply sit with yourself in the present moment, can be seen as a very ordinary experience yet at the same time, it can be completely extraordinary and transformative.
Meditation can reveal many insights. It is beautiful to listen to our inner voice and follow its guidance. Our inner voice never fails us, but may at present be absent or weak in us if we are too stressed to be able to hear it. The more you listen to it, the louder it will become. Listening to our inner voice saves many mistakes we may otherwise make due to lack of proper attention and wisdom in various situations. Listening to our inner voice solves many problems that our conscious mind could not solve. Insight pops into our minds during meditation.
Meditation improves wellbeing
Meditation is an act of self-care and can be the balancing element in our lives. Meditation benefits us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It is the one practice that has the potential to awaken us to a greater reality about ourselves and our purpose in life.
It has been proven scientifically that mindfulness meditation alters the structure and function of the brain with a mere 20 minutes of practice daily for 6 – 8 weeks. In addition, it can help to reduce anxiety and depression, improve our mood, and reveal our oneness with all beings.
Meditation is beautifully transforming in nature. Gradually and little by little, our awareness of ourselves, others and our surroundings grow and we begin to feel interconnected. Meditation is a beautiful gift you can give to ourself that will create a balance between your inner and outer life. It truly is one of the best things that you can do for your wellbeing and spiritual growth.
Now you have a better idea of how to balance your life with mediation and the positive impact it could have on your life, why not get started straight away? You could follow the above tips or contact a meditation teacher, remembering that as well as local classes – when pandemic restrictions are no longer in place – you can also find support via many online practitioners.