There was a time where I would never have imagined myself meditating as a means to calm my mind and find inner-peace. I always associated meditation with some spiritual new age nonsense and never really understood just how deep the roots of this ancient practice went!

You see I was never taught about meditation at school or through any of my schooling and with the exception of my sister I do not come from a family of spiritualists. As with most people I was taught that if I was feeling pressured or stressed then I went to see the doctor and consume a bunch of useless pills (the corruption behind pharmaceuticals is another story).

Anyway the point is we have lost or neglected to acknowledge the importance of finding ourselves and taking the time needed to analyze our lives and determine what it is we seek. Ask your friends and family what they want to be doing in five years and more often than not you'll be met with a blank expression.

They've been consumed by life ! They have no plans, goals, they have lost touch with their-selves and the worst part is they do not even know it. Is this you? Do you know where you're heading in life? Do you understand the good and bad parts of your life? Are you consumed by guilt and blame or do you accept responsibility?

You see this is where meditation can help, it allows you to remove yourself (even if only temporarily) from the chaos of life and the usual way of thinking we become accustomed to. The process of meditation is very much a personal journey where you consciously treat your mind of any wayward and destructive thoughts and remove yourself from the beliefs and values ​​that modern-day living has implanted in our minds.

Essentially you're calming the mind and focusing on the things which matter most, which is often the small things we take for granted such as family, health and so on .. To sum up meditation can be described as “reflection”, to reflect upon your life both the good and the bad, no stone left unturned!

The peace and tranquility meditation provides is unique to the person practicing meditation. Usually one would engage in meditation for a particular purpose, a desired outcome so to speak but you need not have a particular reason for meditating, just seeking inner-peace and tranquility is enough.

Learning how to meditate is an ongoing process and again a journey, it's not necessarily the end-result that matters! If you're interested in getting started with meditation then there are a few tips that will help you get the most from your experience, most important though is to practice your meditation regularly.

Quick Tips For Meditating

Get comfortable

It's important that you remain comfortable during meditation. It's recommended to sit with your legs crossed with an upright post which can be uncomfortable if you're new to maintaining these postures. To aid you take the time to prep your setting, use props such as cushions and supports to stop you from becoming restless during meditation.

* The more relaxed your body is the more relaxed your mind will be so really do give some consideration to your setting prior to meditation.

Singular focus

The key in meditation is to clear your mind of any wayward distractions and allow your thoughts to flow freely at your will. This is actually a lot harder than it sounds! One of the best techniques for beginners is to use single focus. Either use a physical object to focus your attention upon or conjure one up mentally. Once you have a visual hold that image and give it your undivided attention.

* An ancient technique that works well is to focus your attention on the flame of a lit candle.

Breathing

Another crucible component for meditating effectively is your breathing. Focus on your breathing and take deep, slow and natural breaths, pay attention with each breath as you fill and empty your lungs. As you become more and more relaxed you'll find that your breathing becomes second nature and you wont have to focus as much to maintain your deep breathing through your meditation session.

Another tip here for beginners and even novices to meditation is to use a mantra (word or phrase) that you would repeat to yourself on every inhale and exhale, use a word of positivity or a word that makes you feel happy for best results. The main goal though is to keep your concentration and remain focused on your breathing. With ongoing practice you'll naturally learn to control your breathing even outside of meditation which can have a positive impact on your well-being.

Remember, meditation is an art and not a science ! There are many different tools and techniques designed to help you meditate but essentially it's a personal journey, some may use meditation to gain self-confidence while others to eliminate stress from their lives. Commit to meditating for just 15 minutes daily and see for yourself the positive impact this ancient philosophy can have in your life.