It's Monday again, and I'm making another new resolution for this week. This week I've vowed to start meditating. Ideally I would like to start my day off with a meditation session, but since my day usually begins with a crying baby, I've decided to schedule my meditation for the afternoon after I put my son down for his nap. I bought a meditation aromatherapy candle from Big Dipper Wax Works which smells lovely. The rosewood and cedar wood fragrance infuses the room with a simultaneously invigorating and calming scent. I also turn Pandora to "spa radio" for a collection of calming tunes. That combination of scent and sounds help me clear my mind and embrace the meditation process.
Research shows that even a few minutes of meditation per day can reduce stress and inspire a sense of calm. So, my new plan is to meditate for 10 minutes.
There are actually many different ways to meditate. Here are explanations of few types (via the Mayo Clinic):
Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.
Mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts. Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. You broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment.
Qi gong. This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong (CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine. Tai chi. This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-chee), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.
Transcendental meditation. You use a mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase repeatedly silently, to narrow your conscious awareness and eliminate all thoughts from your mind. You focus exclusively on your mantra to achieve a state of perfect stillness and consciousness.
Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you're encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.