A school in inner-city Baltimore has made headlines recently, as they have implemented meditation rooms instead of detention halls for rowdy and disruptive students. As a result, the students, who primarily come from broken homes in impoverished neighborhoods, have experienced a real turn around in their attitudes towards their behaviors, being mindful, and staying calm in stressful situations.
As we move forward in a society where people genuinely WANT to know more about a spiritual way of life, we are learning that meditation isn’t some practice that only the great gurus and nuns can obtain. People from all walks of life are starting to utilize meditation for more than just spiritual enlightenment, although it can’t hurt for that area too!
JourneyPure encourages and supports holistic healing for recovery, and meditation practices are a wonderful tool for beginners to experts on how to find a center, how to improve focus and mood, and how to engage in life in a compassionate and rational way. If you are interested in learning how to meditate but don’t know where to start, here are a few tips and types of meditation that are perfect for beginners!
Finding a Sit Spot
Primarily, a sit spot is a location where one can return to over and over, usually outside in a quiet place in nature, to simply watch how the world changes and moves around them. It becomes somewhat of an anchor point in an otherwise busy life. Wilderness-based programs utilize sit spots because people will have the ability to be able to sit in them day after day and get in touch with the flora and fauna of the area, as well as any animals and birds that live there as well.
How to Find your Sit Spot:
- Pick a place that you feel drawn towards and you know you will be undisturbed
- Be sure to turn off or leave your electronics at home
- Spend at least 5 minutes there, around the same time of day, every day
- Focus on your breathing, your senses, the area around you, how the wind feels, how the sun feels
- Notice how things change every day, and how things also stay the same
Over time, you will begin to become very in tune with how and where you are that day, as well as how the world around you is changing, and where you fit into it. This is a spot that is meant to be sacred for you, where you can go to take some time to be quiet and introspective, as well to practice mindful awareness. Returning to your sit spot for meditation every day gives an interesting insight, especially as the seasons change, as weather changes, and as you change.
This might be one of the most accessible forms of meditation and cleansing for beginners out there, especially in a beautiful area like Bowling Green, Kentucky. Grounding, otherwise known as “earthing” is a practice of simply being barefoot in nature.
Research suggests that there are several benefits to earthing that can play a huge role in overall physical and mental health. The way it works is that free electrons are passed from the earth into the body. These electrons act as catalysts in the body to speed up the natural processes and enzymatic reactions. These benefits include:
- Reduction of chronic pain
- Improve Sleep
- Reduce Inflammation
- Improves blood pressure
- Relieves muscle tension and headaches
- Reducing hormone and menstrual symptoms
Grounding is just about one of the easiest meditation practices that a beginner can do, and it can also be combined with other forms of meditation, such as walking to your sit spot, breathing exercises, and mindfulness. Studies suggest simply spending at least 15 minutes with your bare feet on whichever type of earth you have, whether it is dirt, sand, moss, leaves, grass, or stones.
Many people don’t have access to extensive areas of nature, but that doesn’t mean that meditation isn’t possible! Anyone, anywhere, can listen to a guided meditation on either an app, on youtube, or on any number of other websites or even TV channels. There are communities all over the country that offer in person, guided meditation groups.
However, if you are more of a “lone-wolf”, then a guided meditation in your home is definitely a great place to start. Try out some of the meditation apps such as:
- Insight Timer
There are also countless guided meditations on youtube! The best thing about these apps is there are literally thousands and thousands of different meditations to listen to, you can choose how long you have and how long you would like to meditate for, and you can choose what you want to meditate on!
Guided meditation is great for people who have a hard time staying calm and present in their thoughts, and who find themselves wandering in their minds. The voice guiding the meditation will often remind the listener to bring themselves back, or to breathe, at the perfect moment, gently pulling the listener back from the tangent they may have been on (or is that just me?)
No matter where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, or how much time you have, you are always going to be breathing. The thing is, we often get so caught up in the business of life, that we very rarely think about our breath, notice when it is tight, or when we are excited or stressed how it becomes short and shallow.
Breathing breaks are super accessible forms of meditations for beginners because it is a perfect way to gently get into the habit of taking that moment, being present, and being mindful of something so simple yet so impactful.
So next time you are running around, or stressed about something, or rushing to fulfill a deadline, take 30 seconds to just breathe, in through your nose, and out. Follow the breath through your body, noticing how it feels as it travels from the nostrils to the lungs. Then follow it back out, noticing how it is now warmer, and how with every exhale you become a little more relaxed.
No matter how busy you are or how inexperienced you might be with meditation, it is never too late to give it a try, and the benefits will have you continuing to return!
It can be overwhelming even thinking about going to rehab, never mind actually doing it. However, if you are suffering from even just one of these signs, reaching out for help is the best chance you have to put an end to your substance use disorder for good.
Do not ignore yourself and your needs. You are worth getting the appropriate treatment so that you no longer have to live in this dangerous cycle of abuse. Reach out to us right now. We can help.
Chris Clancy is the in-house Content Manager for JourneyPure’s Digital Marketing team, where he gets to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and researcher, with strong working knowledge of hospital systems, health insurance, content strategy, and public relations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two kids.