While many of us want those extra zzzzs in the morning (especially in winter!) Melbourne woman Donna Groves meditates. She never misses her morning meditation, which she describes as a gift to herself. Donna has undergone an amazing wellbeing journey, which she will soon share in her new book Shine, detailing lessons and tips she’s uncovered on her journey, empowering women to embrace their own quest for personal growth and purpose. Here, she shares her best meditation tips with Lifestyle News.
1. Give it a chance: I used to really struggle with meditation and have some very strong opinions about it.
Stopping the chatter in my mind has been a challenge, but coming back to my breathing helps. It takes time and practice to feel comfortable meditating.
It wasn’t until I found a beautiful, guided morning meditation from Jonathan Lehmann (a former Wall Street lawyer who had his own reckoning) that I opened my mind a little, and then I started to feel the positive effects of meditation.
If you’re avidly against it like I was, just try it; if you’ve already tried it and didn’t like it, try again. And again. It really, truly works. I promise. You just have to let it.
2. Start slowly: If you’re not sure how to meditate, there are many books, and online videos that can help.
For me, guided meditations were a great way to start. Over time you will find the meditations that work best for you. I have several favourite meditations and choose them according to how I feel.
I started with five-minute meditations and now I prefer 10 – 15 minutes in the morning. I also have an evening meditation which I play before I sleep.
Whilst I still often do guided meditations, I am just starting to be able to meditate without guidance and have been practicing walking and jogging meditations.
3. Commit to a time each day: For me my mind is most open in the morning and my morning meditation is intrinsically important to the day.
Win the morning, win the day is a mantra I embrace. My most important habit is my morning routine, which includes meditation, as well as affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and journalling.
I also meditate just before I go to sleep. It closes down my day and allows my mind to slide into sleep.
4. Engage the senses to feel present: Feel the grass beneath your feet. Take in the aroma of the candle you’ve lit, feel the outdoors.
You can also incorporate all your senses in meditation - Body-scan meditations are great for leaning into the present as you are guided to mentally scan your body from head to toe.
As you scan, you’re asked to notice how each part of your body feels, and whether you have any pain, aches, tension or involuntary movements.
Being present with and breathing into each body part and noting how it feels can help alleviate pain. The idea behind body-scan meditations is that you learn to lean into any discomforts and harmonise them.
5. Choose your perfect environment: Meditation can be practiced in different environments, whether it’s a quiet room at home or staring out at the ocean.
The point is to rest your mind, focus and be truly present. Your environment sets the scene for how you will feel both during the meditation and after the meditation.
Pick a place that makes you feel calm and comfortable. I have a media room that I have slowly taken possession of and now call the yoga and meditation room (much to the annoyance of my husband).
Donna Groves is the Founder and Managing Director of international consulting firm, Comacon and Author of ‘Shine’, which is available for pre-order from September 15 and released on October 5.