Five ways to meditate

Breathe in…breathe out. Meditation is nothing new – it’s been around for over 3500 years. So why is it suddenly so popular? Perhaps as the world gets louder, we’re all reaching for some kind of peace within it. After all, meditation has been proven to lower stress levels, help us become more creative and improve our overall wellbeing. To celebrate World Meditation Day, The Mix delve into the best ways to bring a bit of calm to the craziness…

A smiling young women in a wheelchair is out in the sunshine where a bright yellow flower is growing from her arms

There are many ways to practice meditation and not all of them involve sitting cross-legged in the middle of an ancient forest. In fact, most forms of meditation can be practiced anywhere – from bus stops to house parties. Giving yourself just 5 minutes of me-time can boost your energy levels and get you back to 100%. Here’s how…


It’s a popular term nowadays. Many schools and businesses encourage mindfulness because it’s proven to help us be more efficient while avoiding potential burnout. Mindfulness can be practiced almost anywhere and is a great way to get out of your head and into the present moment.

Wherever you are, turn your phone to silent, close your laptop, and simply look around.

What do you see? What colours are around you? Do you notice the different shades of light reflecting off the objects?

Focus on one object in particular – this could be a plant, the wall, even your notepad. Try to avoid anything that’s moving and, instead, focus on the stillness.

Whatever it is you’re focusing on, be with it. Soak in the different shapes and forms you see. Don’t try to label it or give it your opinion. Just simply let it be.

When your mind wanders off (and it definitely will!), just bring it back to the object.

Keep repeating this for a short while before slowly returning to what you were doing before.

You’ve just practiced mindfulness.

(For more info on how to practice mindfulness, read our article here)

Breath-based meditation

Similar to mindfulness, breath-based meditation allows you to focus one thing and simply just be with it. And yes, you guessed it, it’s all about the breath.

Find yourself a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This could be your bedroom, a meeting room or the quiet carriage of a train.

Before you close your eyes, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Repeat 3-4 times before closing the eyes.

Return your breath to normal (breathing in and out through the nose) and draw your attention to the natural process of breathing.

When you notice thoughts pop into your head (and yes, they will), just simply recognise them and let them go, then come back to the breath.

After 5-10 minutes (or even longer), gently open your eyes, come back to the room and enjoy the calmness and clarity that has appeared after taking some time away from your thoughts.


Body scan

A body scan meditation works similar to breath-based meditation. It’s an effective way of recognising tension in your body and feeling more relaxed.

Gently close your eyes and breathe normally. Instead of focusing on your breath though, start at the top of your head.

Casually observe any sensations or feelings around your head. Is it tight? Or do you feel relaxed?

Slowly make your way down to your neck, noticing any tension. Try not to resist any tension, just notice it.

Move onto your shoulders, then your arms, then your hands, then your chest – paying attention to any sensations you feel.

Move down to your stomach, then your thighs, legs and, finally, your feet.

By now, you should have a good idea of how your body is feeling and you know where your stress lies. By feeling more connected to your body, you’ll begin to feel a little bit lighter, more confident and more focused.

Feel the sun

Feel the sun meditation is a type of visualisation meditation. Similar to the body scan, it involves paying attention to each part of your body.

Gently close your eyes and breathe normally. Settle in and focus on the breath for a few minutes before slowly picturing a warm, glowing sun.

Feel the sun cast its warm glow over your head, relaxing any tension that might be resting there.

Gradually let it flow down to your neck, then your shoulders, then your arms.

Let it shine its light on your chest, exposing any signs of stress and witness that stress slowly melting away.

Let it flow down through your body, casting light on your stomach, your thighs, your legs and finally your feet.

Feel your whole body surrender to the warm glow of the sign as the tension inside you slowly dissipates.

When you’re ready, gradually open your eyes and come back to the room.

The more you practice this, the more you’ll feel like you’ve just come back from two weeks in Tenerife. Visualisation meditation has been proven to help manage and quell anxiety and help you build a healthier connection with your body.

Transcendental meditation

For those who want to take meditation a bit more seriously, Transcendental Meditation (TM) might be a natural step in the right direction.

TM is taught by a qualified instructor over a four-day period and many students can receive a heavily discounted rate to start practicing.

TM differs to many other meditations as, instead of focusing on the breath, you’re given a word (a mantra) which you repeatedly say to yourself over a 20-minute period, twice a day.

The aim is to transcend thoughts that often arise in order to feel more present and grounded. TM has been proven to lower stress levels and improve overall physical wellbeing – but it can be time-consuming and expensive. Consider if it’s right for you by searching for a local instructor who are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Updated on 21-May-2024

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