Eyes Closed, Mind Open

This is part of a series of short articles providing simple personal development advice.

Icon of a person in a traditional meditation pose
Graphic by iconicTYPE

Close your eyes for a few minutes. Let your mind wander. Embrace the silence. Listen to what your inner voice is telling you.

In this world of endless distraction you may find this very hard to do, but read on to discover the benefits of doing so.

‘Life is too short to be in a hurry’

Henry David Thoreau

Having read a fair amount of profiles on the worlds most successful people, meditation is common amongst 90% of them. It’s a habit I have struggled to incorporate into my life, however I’ve realised that I do meditate, it just doesn’t follow the typical trend. In this article I will teach you how to introduce meditation naturally and describe the benefits it can bring to your life.

You may think of traditional meditation as a ritualistic morning routine where the hippie like individual sits legs crossed, chanting their mantra, incense burning and the sounds of nature in the background. While this does sound very relaxing, its not realistic for most of us but still meditation is usually associated with this type of behaviour. 

There are apps like Calm and Oak that are democratising the practice. These apps are great and if you need guided meditation then use them to your advantage.

Recently I’ve discovered Yoga. I normally do a 10-20 minute guided session (via Apple Fitness+) after a workout which really helps to bring the heart rate down, improves flexibility and gives me time to think, therefore naturally meditating. 

How to introduce meditation naturally

Natural meditation is the act of finding stillness in everyday activities. Finding a moment to listen to your inner voice and think clearly.

  1. First, it helps to discover your circadian rhythm or simply whether you’re an early bird or night owl. When is your mind most active, is it early morning, late evening or somewhere in between? Maybe its while walking the dog, exercising, in the shower, at night before sleeping or sitting quietly on a yoga mat, legs crossed…
  1. Once you’ve found the optimal place and time to naturally meditate, listen to your inner voice. Depending on the day you’ve had you may be relieving stress, generating ideas or simply reminiscing.
  1. Take cues from your thoughts, feelings and anything else your inner voice is telling you. Your own mind is a powerful instrument that when harnessed correctly can guide you to everlasting happiness.

The benefits of meditation

Meditation has many benefits, the most obvious and easiest to achieve are; calmness, stress relief, idea generation and positive thoughts. The more nuanced outcomes are greater attention and awareness, and achieving a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

If done regularly the compounding effects will make you a more empathetic and open minded person who can navigate life with ease.

“One cannot choose wisely for a life unless he dares to listen to himself, his own self, at each moment of his life.”

Abraham Maslow

This is my interpretation and how I’ve incorporated meditation into my life, I hope this helps you to introduce the practice into your life.

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