May is National Meditation Month, and what better time to explore the art of meditation? As we go through our daily lives, we often face a great deal of stress and anxiety, especially when it comes to finances. Many of us worry about bills, debt, and financial stability, and these concerns can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being.
Meditation is a powerful tool for managing stress related to finances by increasing focus and achieving a greater sense of peace and well-being. It’s no secret that many people struggle with financial anxiety, and meditation can help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that come with financial worries.
What Exactly Is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind to focus and quiet the constant chatter that goes on in our heads. This can be done by focusing on the breath, a sound, or a visual image. Meditation is a way to cultivate mindfulness, which is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment.
Research has shown that meditation can have a number of positive effects on the brain. For example, it can increase gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making, attention, and impulse control. It can also reduce activity in the amygdala, which is responsible for processing emotions such as fear and anxiety. Additionally, meditation has been shown to improve memory, reduce stress, and increase feelings of well-being.
So, How Can You Start to Meditate?
Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and over time, different styles and techniques have emerged. While some people prefer traditional, classic meditation styles, others may find alternative styles more appealing.
The Classic Meditation Style
It involves focusing the mind on a single point or object, while alternative styles allow for more freedom and creativity in the meditation process. Both can be effective in promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving overall well-being.
If you’re new to meditation, starting a meditation practice can seem intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some steps you can take to get started:
- Set aside time: Choose a time when you can meditate without interruptions. This could be first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or in the evening before bed.
- Find a quiet space: Choose a quiet space where you can sit comfortably without distractions. You can use a cushion or a chair, as long as you can sit with your back straight.
- Focus on your breath: Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Take deep breaths in and out, and notice the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body.
- Let your thoughts come and go: Don’t worry if your mind starts to wander. Just notice when your thoughts start to drift, and gently bring your focus back to your breath.
- Start small: You don’t need to meditate for hours on end to experience the benefits of meditation. Start with just a few minutes a day, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend meditating.
You don’t have to sit still for hours to meditate. One of my favorites is walking meditation. It’s pretty simple: just take a nice stroll while focusing on your breath and the feeling of your feet on the ground. It’s a great way to get some exercise while also practicing mindfulness.
Yoga is another awesome option. You get to move your body while also breathing and being present in the moment. Plus, there are so many styles to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your vibe.
There are plenty of other activities that can be meditative. Qigong, tai chi, and even running or swimming can help you connect with your breath and stay mindful. Just pick an activity that allows you to focus on your senses and approach it with a mindful attitude.
Did you know that everyday activities can also be a form of meditation? Yup, even house chores! If you approach them with curiosity and non-judgment, you can turn them into a mindfulness practice. Writing is another great way to connect with your thoughts and feelings in a mindful way. And trying new things can help you step out of your comfort zone and be present in the moment.
Meditation is a powerful tool for reducing stress and increasing focus. So, take advantage of National Meditation Month and start your journey to mindfulness. Don’t worry if your mind wanders during meditation, it happens to all of us. Just gently bring your focus back to your breath and keep practicing. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling more relaxed and at peace than ever before!
What forms of meditation have you tried in the past? We’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to reach out to us via our contact form, Twitter or Facebook. Should you need help in the aspect of financial growth, please visit my company’s website, LexION Capital.
Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City serving everyone who feels left out by traditional “Wall Street”, including women and the families they love.