What do athletes Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, and Michael Phelps, and celebrities Hugh Jackman, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Heather Graham have in common (other than killer good looks)?

 

…meditation.

 

Let’s face it, meditation is everywhere. It’s a buzzword that has plenty of people talking. But what is meditation? And how can you do it?

 

The myth is that meditation is about controlling your thoughts, but the fact is that, meditation is about not letting your thoughts control you.

 

Beginner Meditation. Photo by Llsa Rlsager

Photo: Llsa Rlsager

 

Let me explain. Imagine you’re sitting at home with the window open. If you really tune in, there are noises all around you. Traffic going by, kids playing, the fridge fan, etc. But we don’t even notice these sounds until we focus on them. They’re just background noise. The goal of meditation is to let the random thoughts that float around in your head become background noise, instead of fixating on each thought.

 

Attaching to thoughts is the basis for stress and anxiety.Click To Tweet

 

Attaching to thoughts is the basis for stress and anxiety. ┬áIt’s the thoughts we fixate on in bed when we should be sleeping, or the negative loop telling us we’re not pretty enough, good enough, skinny enough…And it’s all bullshit.

 

 

Meditating on the sand dunes. Photo by Lalo Fuentes

Photo: Lalo Fuentes

 

Meditation literally makes you happier because you stop stressing about things you can’t control. You build a stronger self worth through self awareness.

Meditation literally makes you happier because you stop stressing about things you can't control.Click To Tweet

 

So how can you meditate at home?

 

Get into a comfortable sitting position. I recommend sitting in a chair or on the couch. (You don’t want to get too comfy otherwise you’ll fall asleep). Put on a calming piece of instrumental music (no words).

 

  1. RELAX! This is the first step to meditation. Start from your feet and slowly relax each part of your body. You can also use a technique called, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and say out loud “feet relax”, “calves relax”, etc.

 

  1. Find stillness, no thoughts. You may be able to have no thoughts for 5 seconds (that’s good). When a thought inevitably comes in, visualize or feel the thought flow into a river and away from you. Then find stillness again. When another thought comes in (positive or negative) allow it to float into the river. Do this over and over and over.

 

I advise clients to start with 20 minutes and work up from there.

 

I hope this helps. I’ve coached clients to meditate for years and it takes time. But I promise, committing to even 10 minutes a day will lead to a healthier body, a healthier mind, and a healthier spirit.

 

So tell me, what are YOUR questions about meditation?