Find Peace In Meditation By Baraa El Sabbagh, Personal Trainer and Registered Dietician
Why I Love Meditation
Have you ever tried meditating? This isn’t the first time I talk to you about meditation, and it won’t be the last! Why am I hooked? Because of how it makes me feel. It’s very simple: my mindset is completely different on the days that I do meditate versus the days that I don't. Find out: Why is meditation the secret ingredient for a happy, healthy life? How do you start meditating? Plus a lot more tips that can stay with you for a lifetime. If you’d rather listen about this topic on the podcast, head over to B for Better Health for the episode!
Meditation And Yoga Expert, Tara Achkar
Even though I love meditating myself, I’m no expert, so I asked a health and nutrition coach to help us out. Tara Achkar is an Ayurvedic therapist, and yoga and meditation teacher. She helps people become the best versions of themselves by making them go inwards. She gets them through stressful times, overwhelming feelings, and fatigue. She also addresses chronic health issues like anxiety. We truly need that in today's world more than ever!
Let’s Break It Down, What Is Meditation?
Meditation has many different definitions for different people, but it's essentially a portal that we use to connect with ourselves, to remember our true essence, to quiet the noise, go inwards, remember our purpose and live in accordance with our values. It's not an objective, just a portal to reconnect with ourselves.
Is There One Kind Of Meditation?
There are different types of practices out there, either simply focusing on the breath or there are more complex ones that include visualization, affirmations, and mantras. But the one thing in common is the act of sitting with a straight spine and meditating from a place of complete stillness. People have meditative habits (like running) which will definitely work for them, but it’s not the true act of meditating.
Why You Should Start Meditating Today
- Scientifically, meditation has proven to increase longevity because it makes you more relaxed. Yes, you live longer when you reduce stress!
- We live in a world with a lot of noise and technology has invaded all parts of our lives. Taking a moment every day to really renourish yourself from within and recharge your batteries without the use of technology is so important.
- You need to fill your own cup before you can help others. So if you’ve been running around trying to make deadlines and helping out family members with their things, stop and think about yourself for a moment. You won’t be able to keep giving if your glass is empty or you’re feeling burnt out. Get energised with just 10 minutes of meditation a day!
Is There Progress In Meditation?
Practice meditation without expectation! Meditate to simply fill your cup, it’s not about achieving or accomplishing anything, it’s just about honoring that silent moment for yourself.
How Can You Start Meditating?
Some people might want to start with a guided meditation, something like Headspace or Insight Timer come very recommended. There are levels, so you can start as a beginner with a guided meditation and then advance to more free flow breathing sessions that are silent.
- If you want to start meditating without an app, just sit still for 5 minutes to start with and with consistency you can then move up to 10 minutes, and organically increase the time if it suits you.
- Always go back to the breath whenever you’re distracted.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try to take meditation lightly, it is a practice to give yourself love after all. So try to enjoy the process!
What’s A Good Environment To Meditate In?
Wherever you feel like it’s a safe space. Some people like to do it in their living rooms, others create a zen corner dedicated to meditation, and so on. You can breathe by the beach, in a park, anywhere that’s relatively silent and will allow you to sit still.
When’s A Good Time To Meditate?
You can choose to meditate in the morning, afternoon, or night. It’s mostly preferred to do it in the morning, because that first hour you’re awake, “the hour of power”, is really the one to define the rest of your day. If you bring about that positive energy in the morning, the rest of the day will be energised and full of optimism.
If it’s challenging to wake up early, put it in your calendar and schedule it during the day. When you add it as a task to do, you’re more likely to end up completing it.
Is Meditation For Everyone?
Meditating can benefit every single person of all ages! Kids, adults, and seniors. It’s all about connecting with yourself, and everyone will gain from that. You need to train and exercise your mind on a regular basis just like you would train your body, and the more we practice it as a collective, the more peaceful we will all be.
Does Meditating After Yoga Have Added Benefits?
A proper and complete yoga practice will include meditation. Yoga is not just a physical practice, it’s also a spiritual one. Yoga unlocks the blockages in our body through the physical practice and we anchor and quiet down the mind through our breath work. During the meditation, after anchoring and unblocking the body, is when we can go inwards.
Does Meditation Help With Weight Loss?
Meditation will give you more awareness in general, and especially about your relationship with your body and weight. It will make you ask yourself, “Why do I want to lose weight?” and you’ll keep going back to that answer whenever you need motivation to keep going. It connects you back to the purpose and objective of losing weight, which is to become healthy and live comfortably.
Another way consistent meditation helps is it decreases inflammation and cortisol levels in the body. This reduces stress, which is one of the main reasons for weight gain. And lastly, when we’re mindful, we can avoid things like overeating or snacking without a reason.
What Are Ways For Anxious People To Start Meditation?
Try relieving that stress first with movement! Some people put on music and dance, do a HIIT routine, or go out for a sprint. Whatever it is that gets you energised, do it before sitting and meditating. It’s really challenging to sit still so release that pent up energy before calming your mind.
How Fast Does Meditation Work?
You can feel benefits in one day or one month. Any time you’re really present in your practice, you’ll be able to feel the benefits. As soon as you surrender to the outcome and let go of how perfect every meditation session has to be, you’ll see how it’s changing you. You’ll start noticing in your daily life how you react to problems and interact with people. With constant meditating, you’ll be way more peaceful, compassionate, and active rather than reactive and aggressive.
Book Recommendations for Meditation
If you’re looking for a book to help you with all this, try Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations To Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday by Matthew Sockolov. This is an easy read that will give you practical ways to meditate and understand the benefits.
Let Me Know If You Try Meditating
Anything new we try is a challenge, but when we start seeing the benefits we see why it was SO worth the effort. Going out of our comfort zones builds new comfort zones, and makes us more open and ready to say yes to new experiences. So give meditating a try team, and let me know how it goes!