Lockdown is a challenging time for everyone, but if there’s one thing that has come out of this period of great uncertainty, it’s the ability to pick up new hobbies and invest in our interests. For some, that involved going deep into the sourdough game with countless tabs on the laptop all referring to various reddit forums on how to tend to your starter and various ratios for flour mixing. For others, it meant looking at our overall health and wellbeing, and perhaps using the time that would be spent at the gym, differently. If you started getting into meditation during lockdown, you’re not alone. The phrase itself has become something of a buzzword in the health and wellness space, with many looking to reap its benefits.
But while it’s one thing to say you meditate, when it comes to actually reaping the benefits, not every practice is effective. Known to assist in the reduction of stress, promote greater emotional health, alleviate anxiety and lengthen your attention span, meditation is known to help so many factors of our lives, particularly now. But as Healthline suggests, there are a number of factors that influence just how beneficial our own meditation practice is. These include:
- Frequency of meditation sessions
- The amount of time you spend practising
- Adherence to the principles of meditation
- Understanding the context of why you’re engaging in this practice
According to a 2017 study, participants reported greater mindfulness on the days they meditated, while those who stuck to their practice also reported more positive outcomes. It seems then, that when it comes to meditation, consistency is key. Researchers believe those who meditate for 13 minutes a day over a period of eight weeks reap the biggest benefits.
That said, not everyone has 13 minutes to spare a day and certainly, when it comes to meditation, to really make it a daily practice you need to choose a length of time that you can manage. With that in mind, it’s important to pick a length of time that is realistic and enjoyable for you. If you can only manage five minutes, stop there and call it a day. The key thing is that you practice that length of time regularly.