My top Meditation tips by Stella Photi, Wellbeing Escapes
Stella Photi, Founder & Managing Director, Wellbeing Escapes, is a meditation devotee. She says "I have been meditating on and off for over 20 years now. Over the years, I have learned that this is my most valuable tool to keep me grounded, to put everything in perspective and to even allow my body to relax. It has now become a part of my daily routine and something I just don't compromise on as I have seen the benefits. Here are my 3 Top Tips around starting a meditation practice":
1. Meditation is not about having NO thoughts
I hear the same words over and over again - "I just can't clear my mind." This is the general misconception. On average, we have over 60,000 thoughts a day so it's no wonder we can't clear our minds. Meditation is about observing our thoughts and gently allowing them to go on their way - like watching clouds move by in the sky. If you have a thoughts, it's ok and very normal - even experienced meditators have thoughts. It doesn't mean you are failing at meditation. Don't get angry with yourself or feel that you can't do it.
2. View Meditation as a workout for your mind
Most of us are aware of our physical fitness, about staying in shape and being healthy. Mental health is at the top of the health agenda right now and given that we are given very little training or guidance about keeping our minds healthy, it is no wonder. If you suffer from anxiety, over thinking things and high stress levels then meditation is one of the most valuable daily tools to keep your mind in top shape and even increase productivity. There are numerous studies out there to endorse this from leading universities and teaching hospitals.
3. Practice makes it easier
Like any other activity or sports, you are unlikely to go straight to master level when you start. If you are a new at running, do you expect to be able to run a half marathon straight away? Persist at your meditation practice, it may feel strange and even uncomfortable at the beginning - like you are wasting your time. Be patient and the benefits will come. You will start to look forward to your meditation rather than viewing it as a chore as you will feel great after each practice.
There are so many resources out there in the form of available classes and courses and also apps. Experiment until you find something that works for you.
My recommended teachers are Michael and Gillian at the London Meditation Centre (www.londonmeditationcentre.com). One of the best apps out there is Headspace (www.headspace.com) and if you are attracted to something a little bit more spiritual, then check out: www.Davidji.com
If you want to combine learning to meditate with a holiday, please have a look at our Wellbeing Escapes with Meditation programmes.