Some Tips and a Guide to Meditation


Hey everyone! How are you doing?
The weather this week has been manic! Gusty winds have raged through country and the cold weather has encouraged snowflakes to sprinkle the ground. For me, February month feels like a Tuesday of the week. Emerged in the midst of frosty weather, it’s also heaped with deadlines and stacked with copious amounts of work – stressful, right? Today, I want to share with you a few simple tips about meditation.

I’ve mentioned meditation a few times in many of my previous blog posts, as I know how effective it works when reducing stress. However, I realise I’ve never actually gone into detail and depth about it. Today’s blog post is going to focus on how I began meditation, the benefits of meditation and how to begin/fit it into your routine.

Firstly, some of you may be thinking ‘what actually is meditation!?’
Meditation is all about resting the mind and gaining a state of consciousness which is different from the normal wakening state. It’s about focussing on the present and containing our thoughts. Our minds are naturally so used to wandering and overthinking, which is why meditation can be hard at first, but practice makes perfect!

 “But how do you start!?” is a question so many people have asked me. Although I’m not a daily meditator, I have dipped in and out of meditation routines for years and years, so I can certainly talk about how I began. About 4/5 years ago, I was feeling overwhelmed during the exam period. My Dad, who meditates quite often, shared with me his experience about meditating and, after hearing all the positive effects it had, I decided to start myself. I searched some clips on YouTube – there’s so many! Type in “Practice Meditation for Beginners” and an endless list of options appears. I also really recommend “The Honest Guys” on YouTube and Spotify – they’re really good.

How do you meditate?
You must sit in a comfortable position, with your back straight and eyes closed. Focus on your breathing and focus on the sensations you feel within your body. Focus on the present. And, when you notice your mind is beginning to wander to other things (which it will at first), simply acknowledge it, and swiftly divert your attention back to the present moment. Practice makes perfect!

How to fit meditation into your routine:
Begin by scheduling a 5-minute slot each day to meditate. I recommend doing it in the morning, as this will begin your day with a fresh, clean slate. Meditating in the evening also helps, because it helps calm the mind before bed, altering your body into a resting state which initiates better sleep. Each day, gradually increase the amount of time slot which you spend meditating. It’s up to you how long you meditate for – whatever fits into your routine.  

The Benefits:
Personally, when I am routinely meditating daily, I feel an indefinable change in my mood. I feel less stressed, I cope with stress better and I overall naturally obtain a better mindset towards things. There are so many past studies which reveal the positive effects meditation has on both the body and mind – I’d definitely recommend giving them a read! It’s almost unbelievable because it is so effective. So, if it works for you, I would most definitely recommend giving it a go, because what have you got to lose?! It’s quick, simple and will benefit your wellbeing both physically, mentally and emotionally.

Bit of a different post today, but it’s one I definitely wanted to share! I hope you enjoy reading and let me know how you get on with it! Don’t forget to subscribe if you would like to see more content!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Mindfulness


Hey guys,

How’s your December going so far? What have you been up to? The frosty cold that welcomes us every morning never fails to trigger a burst of excitement inside me as Christmas soon arrives. Recently, I’ve been very consumed with assignments and deadlines on top of Christmas shopping and organising. Whenever I walk through the city centre on the way to Uni, I can’t help but observe the external panic and rush of other people, cramming their endless ‘to-do’ lists into one day.  So today, I want to talk about mindfulness – a very effective tip to maintain a calm mindset and overall a more positive wellbeing.

You close your eyes. You feel nothing but the waves of calmness which effortlessly run through your body. You notice your stomach expand whilst you inhale the rich, invigorating air, as you release weights of negative energy each time you exhale. You are calm, your affinity for positive energy is present and you are in control…

And there’s a small insight into what mindfulness feels like. Enabling yourself to take a few minutes each day to switch off and indulge in a private, peaceful bubble of calmness has been proven to have profound effects on our mental wellbeing.

If you are struggling where and when to begin mindfulness exercises, try YouTube or Spotify. There are countless video’s and audio tracks on mindfulness meditation provided for both beginners and advanced meditators. Begin by setting your alarm five minutes earlier and utilise those extra minutes to switch off from the outside world and have a moment of restful mindfulness. Begin your day with a refreshed, clean slate, and remember to repeat this daily! I also find that sleep mediation works wonders as well – so don’t hesitate to try that out too. I’ve already mentioned these in a previous blog post, but I really recommend ‘The Honest Guys,’ – they have an extensive variety of different meditations and mindfulness practices, so definitely check them out.

When I first tried out meditation, I didn’t think I would experience the beneficial effects as much as I did. Within days I felt calmer, more collected, less stressed and overall a healthier and happier person! I couldn’t recommend it enough, so please try it out and let me know what you think.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, let me know how you get on!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx


Calming Your Thoughts Before Sleep


Hey everyone, how are you all doing today?

Soon, we will wish autumn farewell for the year, and winter will greet us with frosty fingertips. As the fallen leaves on the ground turn crispier, the twiggy branches on trees remain bare as the icy air allures winter hats and scarves.

So, stopping racing thoughts before we sleep, how can we do it? A lot of us are prone to overthinking, especially when I’m trying to wind down before bed. I don’t know about you, but it often occurs when I’ve had a stressful day, or when I’ve got a busy schedule ahead of me. I close my eyes, trying to sleep, yet my mind is whirling around in a pool of rushing thoughts, making it seem impossible to drift to sleep.

As a frequent mindfulness goer, I have learnt that being able to distract your mind from busy thought’s is a powerful way to calm ourselves down. I have found that an effective way to distract your mind from reoccurring, stressful thoughts is by taking yourself to the present. Ask yourself: where am I? What can I touch? What can I smell?

As you close your eyes, you can feel the soft duvet shelter your resting body. You can feel your head sink effortlessly into the pillow. The warmth from the hot water bottle emits into your skin, as you inhale the soothing scent of lavender. 

Not only does this distract your mind from busy thoughts, but it calms the body and facilitates relaxation. Take yourself to the present. Remind yourself that there is no point worrying about tomorrow or worrying about the past when right now it isn’t in your control so it’s not worth worrying about!

So next time you’re struggling to sleep, close your eyes and try distracting your mind by focussing on the present! I hope this blog helps you, and if you want to see more content please subscribe!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx


Acceptance


Hey guys!

How has your day been? My Christmas shopping has finally started; all the discounts are on so now is the perfect time! I can’t get enough of the glittery lights which parade the city centre, and the dazzling Christmas decorations which fulfil the shop windows, each spreading the jubilant buzz as December 1st approaches.

I’m sure you’ve had a busy day today. As the beautiful blue sky falls to darkness and the nightfall hours approach, allow yourself some quality time. Grab a cup of tea, switch off from the outside world and allow yourself some time to relax and read this post.

Today, I was walking back home, listening to this insightful podcast about wellbeing. The content within the podcast inspired me to write today’s post because it mentioned something which I feel a lot of us could be better at, which is acceptance.

We’ve all felt it: sadness, guilt, disappointment, jealousy – the list is infinite. It is important to remind ourselves that it is entirely normal to experience these feelings from time to time. However, I firmly believe that there are ways to deal with these certain emotions that sometimes negatively overwhelm us.

Over the years, I have learnt that being able to accept these negative feelings as they come is a way to help them go. A quote I picked up from the podcast was “what we resist, persists,” and it’s so true. When we try to fight anger, the heat inside us intensifies. When we try to battle sadness, it remains stuck in our chest. When we criticize ourselves for being jealous, we feel worse. Essentially, rebelling against our emotions (rather than allowing them to happen), can overall affect us negatively.

Treat yourself and your feelings with kindness. Remind yourself that what you are feeling doesn’t define who you are as a person. People experience different emotions daily and that’s okay. These feelings come and go and being able to accept them and watch them gradually dissolve is a part of the amazing journey to self-love.

So next time you feel down, don’t resist it. Allow it, accept that you are feeling that way as it will pass.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and I hope it helps you! Please subscribe if you would like to see more content!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

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