The Life-Changing Practice of Meditation

25th January 2023 - by Laura Nicholls

So many people shout about the life-changing practice of meditation. It feels like it is being pushed on me from all directions. I have heard about it from my therapist, read about it in self-help books and it is in every YouTube video about how to handle stress. People have become numb to the word and no longer consider it as a viable coping strategy.  Maybe you tried it and didn’t feel anything or you don’t understand how doing nothing can solve your worries when often you’re stressed because you have too much to do.

I am here to confess that I have been converted and this is the one time I will shout about meditation. I will tell you what I know as a beginner and explain how it helped me, then it is in your hands and never has to be brought up again. But hear me out.

I have always spent too much time in my own head or staring at a screen, headphones on, unaware of the world. And sometimes that saves me from autistic overwhelm, sometimes I need that but it is a balance and I have neglected the physical world. This leads to mindfulness which I have found goes hand in hand with meditation. Mindfulness is a word often heard but not often understood.

Mindfulness is being aware of your body and the world around you. People breathe and eat and feel without actively thinking about it. Dolphins have to choose to come to the surface to breathe, it is an active thought. Mindfulness is being a dolphin, thinking about the most simple of actions and not anything else. Mindfulness is being sat in a meadow with a small breeze, long grass and nothing to do but breathe. 

So next time you try to meditate don’t try to think about nothing, think about everything. What can you hear? Feel? Smell? Focus on your senses, feel the air entering and exiting through your mouth and nose. You can do it for 30 seconds or 30 minutes. The choice is yours but don’t give up just yet.