The practice of meditation can fuel positivity, improve focus, and reduce stress, especially in current times. Each week at 1-800-Flowers, our meditation instructor, Lindsey Gaterman, has been hosting virtual classes for employees to help them relax during this uncertain time. So far, the results have been nothing but positive. Below are our meditation tips from Lindsey that we’d like to share with you. Through repetition and practice, these exercises can become a habit you can make a part of your everyday life.
Meditation Tips for Beginners
Dedicate a Special Space for Your Meditation Practice
It’s helpful if this space is away from a computer where you usually work and is somewhere that feels safe and peaceful. A cushion is helpful, but not essential to get started. Seeing this space serves as a reminder to practice, and it can help one set aside other activities to be fully present during the practice.
Set a Compassionate Intention Before You Practice
It’s likely the mind will wander during meditation. That’s okay! When this happens, it’s helpful to have a compassionate reminder as to why one started the meditation in the first place. A good example is, “Learn to love and appreciate myself.”
Practicing Often Can Be More Beneficial than Sitting for Long Periods of Time
A good plan for beginners: meditate every other day for three to five minutes. Once it feels comfortable, one can add minutes or days to this plan after some time. Coming to the cushion five days a week and practicing for 10 minutes each time can be more valuable than coming to the cushion once a week and meditating for an hour. It’s not about what you do on the cushion as much as it’s about why you are coming to it and the insight you take with you.
General Mindfulness Tips
Feel the Breath and Be with the Body
The breath is one of the few constant and consistent things we have in life. It is a lovely tool that allows us to come into the present moment, even if only for a second. Often, with presence, there is peace.
Send Compassionate Wishes to Yourself and Others
Wising ourselves and others well can help one drop out of the mind and into the heart, both during meditation and outside of it. Wishes of loving-kindness are a great place to start, and they go like this: May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease. May you be safe.
Be Wary of Phone and General Screen Time
When we’re on screens, we’re often operating on autopilot. Decreasing screen time can help with sleep, focus, and overall presentness.
Take Walks without Destinations or Spend Time in Nature
Spending time in nature comes with many benefits, including reduced stress levels, improving short-term memory, strengthening your immune system, and increasing happiness.