The world is a stressful place right now. There’s no doubt about that. It is easy to feel like things are out of control, and you can’t do much about it. Your head may be swirling with different inputs from the news, work, friends, or even just your own inner thoughts. Are you tired of the constant mess of thoughts tangled in your head with no sign of stopping?
May we suggest meditation?
The idea of spending concentrated time alone with your thoughts may be terrifying to you, but don’t get ahead of yourself quite yet. This practice takes time, but it might be the best way to finally bring you a sense of peace. Even if those who don’t feel very stressed are often surprised at the wide-ranging benefits of trying to access a calmer mind space.
You can meditate anywhere, but it’s best to set aside a specific place where you build the habit and begin to practice. Today we’re going to show you how to create a zen meditation space right in your home.
But first, we’ll dive deeper into the history and benefits of meditation.
History of Meditation
Meditation has existed since the beginning of time (though probably not with the dinosaurs). Historians have found evidence of this practice in the earliest civilizations. It became more mainstream in the United States with the introduction of Yoga in the 1960s and continues to be popular today.
Almost every modern religion has a version of meditation. You don’t have to be religious to meditate; there are many ways to make this practice meaningful.
Benefits of Meditation
There are countless benefits of meditation, and they may vary from person to person.
Here are just a few of the most common benefits:
- Controlling anxiety and reducing stress. These are the main reasons that a lot of people have begun to practice meditation. The past two years have been anxiety-inducing, and reports of anxiety disorders have skyrocketed. Meditation can help calm your anxiety down and reduce your stress levels.
- Promoting better sleep habits. Practicing meditation for even a few minutes before you go to bed can help stop your racing thoughts and encourage your body to truly rest.
- Increases attention span. There are so many things battling for our attention every day, and our attention spans are becoming worse very quickly. Do you ever sit down to try and read a book only to get distracted by your phone two pages in? Meditation can help set aside distractions and help with focus.
Boosts self-knowledge. Everyone can benefit from a deeper look inside. Meditation can allow us to get to know what’s really at the root of our emotions.
We hope these benefits have convinced you that this might just be a worthy use of your time. Now that we’ve explained the history and benefits, let’s help you create the perfect meditation space.
Creating Your Meditation Space
Don’t get overwhelmed by the potential of a new project. It’s okay to start small! You don’t have to design an entire studio or even dedicate a whole room to mediation.
If you just want to create a meditation corner, that is more than enough. As long as you set aside a space that encourages your practice, you’ll be good to go.
There are many options for lighting your meditation space. If you’re a meditation pro, a completely dark space might be the best way to go. If you’re newer, you might want to avoid complete darkness so that you don’t fall asleep. (It’s okay if you do, though. It happens!)
Consider these lighting options:
- Natural light is always a good choice as it promotes overall health and wellbeing. The perfect type of light to pair with meditation.
- Avoid bright, fluorescent lights, especially overhead. Look for soft or warm light bulbs that create a relaxed atmosphere.
SAD lights could also be used to supplement your meditation time. If you’re meditating in the winter or if you face Seasonal Affective Disorder, using a SAD light while you meditate could boost the positive impacts.
Whatever you decide, the key is to minimize anything that will distract you. If you can’t stand bright lights, avoid them. If darkness will put you to sleep, choose a soft light instead.
Smell is a powerful sense that impacts our mood in deep ways, so it’s only natural to include good scents into your meditation space. Consider adding a diffuser or candle to your space so you can really set the tone.
Here are the best essential oils for meditation:
- Clary Sage
- Ylang Ylang
You may also try diffusing a scent that has special meaning to you or lighting a candle that makes you feel at ease.
Wondering why scent is so powerful? Our sense of smell is actually connected deeply with our memory. We associate different smells with different emotions or memories.
That’s why a certain perfume may remind you of an old friend, or the smell of sunscreen can instantly take you back to your beach vacation when you were eight years old.
To create a relaxing meditation space, choose furniture or a seating option that makes you feel comfortable and allows you to sink in and relax. A surprising option that just might be perfect for this space is a bean bag chair.
This is firm enough to provide support yet soft and comfortable enough to allow you to sit back or curl up and relax; it’s a great unexpected option. You could even pair it with a CordaRoy’s footstool so you can kick your feet up or lay down completely.
Avoid cluttering up this space. A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind, and that is the exact opposite of what you’re going for with meditation. If you’re using an entire room for your practice, it could be tempting to start storing other items here. Avoid that at all costs!
If you’re using the corner of another room in the house, be sure to keep the whole room clean and tidy. You don’t want the messiness of the space to interrupt and distract from the meditation process.
Don’t be afraid of silence. It can feel scary, awkward, or boring at first, but when you lean in and embrace the silence, your meditation can go deeper. Of course, background noise or white noise can also allow you to focus, but avoid loud music or things that make your mind wander away.
You may also choose to meditate along with an app or a video. Find a guide that helps you stay focused and encouraged in your practice. Turn your phone to the do not disturb mode, set it up in your space, and lower the screen light.
How To Meditate
Meditation style can vary from person to person, so if a specific type doesn’t work for you, don’t give up.
Here are two simple ways to help you get started:
This is a great option for beginners. There are many apps, videos, or even in-person guided meditation options. These sessions help you focus on a specific meditation path and will give you a great sense of where to begin and how it all flows together.
Body Scan Meditation
Sometimes it is helpful to just sit with our bodies and become aware of how they are feeling. Do a full-body scan. Start at your head. How does your scalp feel? Can you sense your hair? Are you holding tension in your jaw or neck?
Keep moving down your whole body. Make a mental note of what you’re feeling. This can help ground you and reduce anxiety.
When You Get Distracted
Notice that we phrased this as when not if. You will get distracted, especially when you are a beginner. Your mind will start to wander, and it might take you a few moments to even notice you’re doing it.
When you do, simply take note of what the distraction was with no judgment, take a deep breath, and move on. It may be an important thing to come back to later. Distractions can help us learn more about ourselves, so they’re not always a negative thing.
A Happy Home
There’s no doubt that meditation has powerful benefits for our mental health as well as our physical health. We hope you’re encouraged to find a space that you can use to begin adding this practice into your daily life.
As you do it, think about its origins and those who have been practicing it for many years. Meditation has become a widespread practice and can be just one of the many pathways to a more peaceful, grounded, and intentional life.