A game changer in my life: Meditation

"- How should one meditate?

- Close your eyes and surrender. "


By the end of 2015, and even when at that time I had what many would call the "dream job": working for an international company, good salary, traveling abroad quite often and growing profesionally as an accountant, I would wake up everyday with a sense of unhappiness, emptiness and no meaning. I was stressed and anxious. I had already heard about meditation and its multiple benefits, so one day, I decided to give it a try as a way to help myself. My beginnings in meditation were super funny. There were days in which I would just put on some music, sit down, close my eyes, take a deep breathe and be like "Is this how meditation feels?", "Am I already meditating?". I used to believe meditation was all about leaving your mind in blank, so I would often get desperated and there were moments where I thought about quitting with it. Over time, I have discovered meditation is not about getting rid of your thoughts and feelings, but about learning to observe them without judgement. It is about reconnecting with and listening to your body. It is about silencing the noise from the exterior so you can look within, while you achieve a peaceful and calm state.

There are plenty of techniques and tools to meditate, but the essence of it relies in the creation of mindful awareness. Some of its benefits include a decrease in anxiety and stress, an increase in immune function, and overall happiness and well-being.

As for me, meditation has definitely been a game changer in my life. Know that I was a perfeccionist and the type of person who would get stressed out for everything, so making meditation part of my daily routine has helped be more relaxed, focused and balanced during the day. It has taught me to listen to my body: what it needs and how it feels, and it has also helped me to be more connected with my intuition. So, if meditation is something you would like to try, here are some tips to get you started with it: 1. Start slowly. 3 to 5 minutes are good to begin with, increase the time gradually over the days and weeks. When I first began meditating, 5 minutes felt like an eternity, now I can make it up to 25 minutes.

2. Find a comfortable place where you can sit, it can be the floor or a chair, what matters is that you sit down upright.

3. The basic meditation technique is to focus your attention in your breathe. You can count the in-breathes and out-breathes or simply repeat to yourself "in...out...in...out".

4. When your mind starts to wander about the bunch of things you've got for the day (which will happen), gently guide your attention back to your breathe.

5. Be an observer. Do not criticise, blame or judge yourself when your mind wanders, the whole point with meditation is to make you more aware of what your mind does. Release expectations.

6. Pay attention to where you most notice the sensation of your breathe, is it your back? Belly? Lungs? Nose? And use this point as a way to bring you back when your mind wanders.

7. You can also put on some relaxing music and use mantras, or even help yourself with an app to meditate, such as: Calm or Headspace to mention some.

8. Be patient. Remember, practise makes practise.

Now, close your eyes, take a deep breathe and have a happy meditation practise! :)

Whether you are curious about meditation, you are a beginner or already part of the gang...I'd love to read from you, so let me know how that goes!