The Practice of Meditation for Newbies and Skeptics


In today’s episode I am going to take you on a deeper dive into meditation as a daily practice to de-stress, activate awareness, calm yourself down, re-connect with the present, let your thoughts flow freely, and basically just have some moments of relaxation, calmness and mindfulness, which we all need in our lives – whether we realize it or not.

I’ve mentioned meditation in several of my podcast episodes to date but I have never dedicated one episode just to the practice of meditation.  I hope to inspire you to include this helpful practice in your every day life as a means to start the day off relaxed and mindful OR alternatively, at the end of your day, to settle down and calm your thoughts for a good night’s sleep.

But… you still might be skeptical about meditating, thinking of it as some spiritual, woowoo practice.  I had similar thoughts about it until I actually tried it myself.  If the term ‘meditating’ is not a practice you can wrap your mind around, think of it as ‘de-stressing and calming your mind’.

Meditation is a practice in which the person uses practices such as mindfulness, or on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a feeling of calm.

Meditation provides you with a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. You can also use it to help regulate your nervous system and cope with stress by refocusing your attention on something calming. Meditation can help you learn to stay centered and provide a deep sense of inner peace.

Meditation is a powerful tool for stress-reduction, and a little bit can go a long way. For many of us, though, it seems like we need to carve out hours in our day to fit it in. What if we told you that meditating for as little as ten minutes a day could make all the difference? In this episode, I’ll give you some simple steps to help you get started with meditation today.

Let’s get you started.

-> Intention: Before you begin meditating, be sure to set an intention for the practice. An intention can be anything from wanting to clear your mind so that you can make a decision or find peace and calmness during this busy time in your life, to simply wanting to see how long it takes before you fall asleep on the cushion (that happens). Whatever the reason is for your meditation practice, try to think about what outcome or feeling you hope to carry forward into everyday life after completing this session. If possible, write it down as a reminder of what matters most at this time in your journey toward a new habit of mind.
-> Start small: It’s never too late — or too early — to start meditating! If there are days when all you have time for is 3 minutes of mindfulness with yourself each day, then start there and build up from there as time allows. There are no “perfect” conditions for starting out; just do what works best for YOU!
Sit Comfortably
The first step to meditation is finding a quiet place where you can sit comfortably. Then, sit on a chair or the floor with your legs crossed in front of you. If you’re sitting on the floor, cross your legs and arms to help create a sense of stability and stillness in your body.

If possible, rest your hands in your lap with palms facing up so that they’re easily accessible later when you begin meditating. This will help keep them from falling asleep during meditation because it’ll give them something interesting to do!

Once you’ve found a comfortable position for yourself (and taken some deep breaths), take note of how relaxed or tense each part of your body feels as well as how heavy or light each part feels compared to other parts. Don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense right now; over time it’ll become easier understand what’s going on inside yourself while meditating!

Focus on your Breath
The next step is to focus on your breath. Whenever you notice that your mind has wandered from the breath, bring it back to what’s going on in your nose and mouth. This can be difficult at first, so don’t take it too seriously if it doesn’t go perfectly. Just try to do the best you can!

Remember not to think about anything else besides the breath: no thoughts about yesterday’s events or tomorrow’s plans, no wondering what you’re doing right now — just keep bringing yourself back to taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Try a Guided Meditation
If you’re new to meditation, a guided meditation can be a great way to get started. Guided meditations are usually shorter than their unguided counterparts — between five and 20 minutes, compared to 30 minutes or more. They also tend to feature soothing voices and relaxing music that can help keep your mind focused, relaxed and in the moment. If you find yourself struggling with distraction or anxiety during longer periods of quiet reflection, guided meditations may be the solution for you!

Start Small
A lot of people find it difficult to meditate for 30 minutes, so don’t worry about that. Start small, with just 5 minutes. If you can do that consistently, then increase the time to 10 minutes and so on until you reach your goal.

The goal doesn’t need to be set in stone — it’s an arbitrary number and doesn’t mean much if you aren’t consistent with your practice. The only thing that matters is how often you sit down and practice meditation.

You can meditate no matter how hectic your schedule is.
You can meditate no matter how busy you are.
You can meditate no matter how many distractions you have.
You can meditate no matter how little time you have!

Maybe you start with five minutes in the morning and then build up to an hour, who knows?

The point is to start where you are right now and take a moment just for yourself.

Meditation is a powerful practice that can help skeptics to reap a range of mental and physical health benefits. It can help to reduce stress, increase mental clarity, and improve emotional intelligence. It can also help to open up our minds and tap into our creative potential.

If you’re a skeptic, give mindful meditation a try and see how it can help you to better understand yourself and the world around you.

That was going to be my conclusion but I just want to end today’s show by outlining the…benefits of meditation for skeptics in summarized form one more time.
Here are some of the most notable benefits of mindful meditation for skeptics:

1. Improved mental clarity: Meditation helps to clear the mind and improve focus. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase our ability to think more clearly and logically.

2. Increased emotional intelligence: Meditation can help us to better understand our emotions and the emotions of others. It can also help us to become more aware of our biases and emotional triggers.

3. Enhanced creativity: Meditation can help to open up our minds and tap into our creative potential. It can also help to reduce stress and increase our ability to think outside the box.

4. Improved physical health: Meditation can help to reduce physical pain, improve sleep, and even boost the immune system.

5. Increased resilience: Mindful meditation can help us to become better equipped to handle difficult situations and bounce back from adversity. You have nothing to lose in trying meditation, but boy, you have everything to gain.

I challenge all the skeptics out there to get out of their comfort zones and give it a shot. 

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

But before you look up today’s show notes or before you join us on Facebook, I would be very grateful if you could leave a review of my podcast.  A favourable one, I hope!  This way it will be shown to more listeners and the messages shared on this show could possibly reach more people who need it – with your help.
And remember…

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo