Mindfulness Meditation – How can meditation help you?

meditationWhy am I writing this article?

In their studies, Schreiner, I., & Malcolm, J. P. (2008) found that the severity levels of severity of depression, anxiety, and stress decreased by the end of the meditation course.

Often, I’ll wake up in the morning and start worrying about what I must do that day whether it’s something small like going to the shops, or something bigger like doing a presentation to my whole 100 strong lecture theatre, on a Monday morning! Trying to force these thoughts out of your head not matter how small or how big they seem, can be a challenge, and I’m here to make this process easier for you!

I read something once, that whatever you start thinking about during the first 20 seconds of your day, determines your mood for the start of the day and sometimes even for the whole day, and it can be difficult to change that mood if it’s a bad one. That is why I meditate as soon as I get up.

colour-wheelThe technique

Yellow is one of my favourite colours and for this technique I chose to associate vanilla ice cream, the sand and the sun at the beach with this colour. Yellow is described as “the colour of sunshine, hope, and happiness” and that is the part of yellow I focus on. Yellow does have another meaning too but as part of this meditation technique it wouldn’t be appropriate to focus on that.

Furthermore, it is associated with increased mental activity such as boosted memory and encouraged communication. Both things can be lacking in someone like me who has struggled with mental health, so you can benefit from them too. A study by Moore, A., & Malinowski, P. (2009) concluded that meditators performed significantly better than non-meditators on all measures of attention. Therefore, if you’re into your fitness or wanting to start going to the gym, then thinking of this colour alongside something you love can improve your energy to get up in the morning and you’ll have more energy to do that.

Don’t get me wrong, I was very sceptical of this at first, but I tracked my progress on a little mood board type thing over time and I saw a noticeable difference in how I recorded I was feeling, there was a considerable change for the better. I’m not saying you should use yellow as the colour you associate with these things. You could use blue and think of the sea or red and think of Christmas. It can be anything that you associate with feeling calm, comfortable or happy, a place worked well for me, but it might not for you, it could be a time of day or season of the year etc. You’ll be able to figure it out yourself most of the time but feel free to drop me a message or a comment if you are struggling and I’ll be happy to help you out.

My storybeach

When I meditate, I think of somewhere I love to be, the beach for example. I imagine sitting on the sand with an ice cream in hand (unintentional rhyme) whilst the water travels to my feet and then out and back again. I look up at the sun and associate that with health and passion and even power. I focus on the sun as a healing power. It’s like that feeling when you’re sat tanning and so relaxed with the world, and you don’t always want to leave that moment. This time that feeling is starting in your head as opposed to feeling the heat on your body first, and then the energy you take from that moves to your body. You know on those days when you wake up and it’s sunny, and you already feel brighten and stronger that day? Well there’s a good reason for that. The sun is associated with power. You can use this power to gain strength when you’re feeling low, because at the end of the day, you deserve to feel powerful in yourself.

meditationWhat are you going to gain from this?

Well firstly, you’re going away knowing a meditation technique that you can try, whenever you want. I’d recommend meditation in the morning when you wake up before or after a workout if you do morning workouts. It will set you in a good mood and you’ll feel stronger to take on the challenges of your day. I’d also recommend it before bed, and as hard as it sounds, after you’ve put your phone down, because technology can keep you up all night! Try putting your phone away at least half an hour before you go to sleep and set your heart and full focus on meditation and I guarantee that you’ll get better quality sleep than if you were on your phone right before bed. Thirdly I also suggest meditating if you’ve had a hard day at work, if someone has upset you, if you’re worried about a loved one, worried about paying the bills or in general if anything is bringing you down, just enter your own zone for a bit, and hopefully your problems won’t overwhelm you!

A reflectionsuccess-ahead

Remember that you don’t have to use the colour yellow, or the beach or the sun. You could choose black if that’s what makes you feel calm, as it is associated with nighttime, a quiet time. Remember this is whatever resonates with you, not what I tell you or your friends and family tell you, or the spiritual guy who is kind of cool says that works. I’m not saying ignore them, take on board the thoughts and adapt it to yourself!

I hoped you gained something from the article, if you already use this way of meditating then I’d love to hear what entities make you feel calm. If you don’t feel comfortable with divulging that then that’s ok too! If you have any thoughts or questions about meditation, then leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I will be posting more content like this so next time you visit the site you can expect to find more to learn. I briefly mentioned morning exercise earlier in the post, I’ve done an article which covers how exercise can impact mental health in more detail there. Have a look if you’re interested.

Have a nice day, stay blessed.

Nick

References

Bourne Creative (BC) (2011) Colour Meaning: Meaning of The Colour Yellow [Online] Available at: https://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-yellow/ (Accessed 12th December 2018)

Moore, A., & Malinowski, P. (2009). Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility. Consciousness and cognition, 18(1), 176-186. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810008001967 (Accessed 12th December 2018)

Schreiner, I., & Malcolm, J. P. (2008). The benefits of mindfulness meditation: Changes in emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress. Behaviour Change, 25(3), 156-168. Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behaviour-change/article/benefits-of-mindfulness-meditation-changes-in-emotional-states-of-depression-anxiety-and-stress/16CEFE3661C9173067A32827CE8F6010 (Accessed 12th December 2018)

Please follow and like us:

14 thoughts on “Mindfulness Meditation – How can meditation help you?”

  1. For several nights, I couldn’t sleep. I just ended up staying on my phone all night and that was definitely not good for my mind and peace. Then I started to meditate and it was amazing. Leaving your phone for half an hour before going to sleep is a great advice to be honest! In an era of technology, it can be addictive. I also tried guided meditation and it’s helpful!
    Thank you for the amazing article!

    1. Yeah I agree! Meditation before sleep can properly relax the mind, whereas a phone does the opposite. I also understand leaving your phone half an hour before bed can be difficult, especially if you have messages coming through! Yes guided meditations can be great also! There’s a variety out there too! Thank you for your comment!

  2. Hi, Thank you for such a useful article. Being a mum I have been experienced postnatal depression, sleeplessness sand other health issues. Meditation really helps a lot. I agree with all the points your have mentioned. It really helps us calm down and focus and helps us Enjoy our life. thank you so so much.

    1. I’m pleased you have benefitted from meditation and shared some of your thoughts on the site! I and I’m sure many others will value your insight on this topic as the more people that talk about it the better! Meditation is definitely something to try if you haven’t, and even if you don’t like it at least you gave it a go, and that’s improvement! Hope you enjoy what’s to offer elsewhere on the site too!

  3. Hi Nick. Thanks for sharing some good ideas. I always turn my phone off about an hour before going to bed. Unfortunately, I am often on my computer instead, which is just as bad! I like to meditate when I get home from work and have had a shower. It is good to just let the concerns and tiredness of the day dissolve away from me. I don’t wake up early enough in the morning, but think that now I will have to make an effort to try and set my day up with positive thoughts as you suggest.
    Cheers

    1. At least you’ve turned the one off though haha! Yeah I agree meditation after a hard day can be so relaxing and uplifts you for the evening! It does take time getting used to an early morning start but when you do I’m sure you’ll enjoy some of it! I have a friend who’s started training with my this week and he said the only bit he doesn’t like is his alarm, but when he’s up he actually enjoys being active in the morning! Hope all goes well bro!

  4. Hi Nick, I really love this post. We should all be meditating more to get the most out of life, but most people will usually say they haven’t got the time, or a million other excuses. It’s a a shame because they don’t know what they’re missing out on.
    My life literally changed completely when I started meditating regularly. It focuses your thoughts, makes you feel calm, and gives you more power over your life. And I agree, morning is the best time to do it as it sets you up for the day, plus your mind is already starting off from a clearer place after your nights sleep and not stressed out from events of the day.

    1. I can relate to this so well! I made excuses for not doing it and one of those was definitely “I don’t have the time”, but somehow I had the time to spend on my phone! However, once I tried it I realised how beneficial it is to my health and wellbeing. I do think morning is the best time to do it, however, I also believe that people must do what feels right for them. You make very good points, thank you for you thoughts!

  5. Nick,
    Great article sir! Meditation is something I picked up a couple years ago. I always thought meditation was kind of silly. But once I actually learned about it and started to practice meditation, I quickly learned that meditation can change someones life. This is definitely a topic more people should be talking about.

    With Gratitude,
    Joseph

    1. I was exactly the same! It can seem like one of those things that are pointless to do, until you try it. It has a great calming effect when done either in the mornings or at night. It reduces stress and helps contribute to a positive outlook when a situation may seem bad. I hope many people try it in 2019, hopefully a new years resolution for many!

  6. Hello Nick,
    This is great to know. I wake up almost everyday feeling overwhelmed, simply because I know that I have more to do than I can possibly get done in one day. I can see how meditation can help relax the mind and help get you started with less worries. I also like the color you chose to concentrate on. Yellow is such a cheery color. I believe I’ll try to meditate with the same color.
    Thanks for sharing! This might just help me out!
    Best wishes,
    Devara

    1. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and it’s natural for the body to meditate! I usually wake up and worry straight away and it’s a mental battle to get through that. I read somewhere that what you think about in the first 20 seconds you are awake, determines your mood for the start of the day, so if this is negative, meditation can counter act it! I’m very glad you agree with the colour choice, it’s nice to know the same colour works for others!

  7. i love the idea of yellow thank you so much for this tip, it is something that i had not thought of before that i can encorporate into my daily life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *