Australia's leading meditation expert, Tim Brown, knows a thing or two about the art of being zen. While diet and exercise are important parts of the equation to a great wellbeing, the power of mediation is often ignored. Brown fills us in on the endless list of heath benefits you can gain from practicing just a couple of minutes of mindfulness.

Why meditate?

Trying to keep up with the demands that life throws at us, often means our mental wellbeing takes the back seat. Stressed and fatigued, we can lose sight of the energy and creativity need to make life great! So how can we take back a sense of clarity and motivation? Mediation is the answer! For centuries, meditation has been the secret to living a long and rich life, acting as the antidote to stress, tension, and fatigue mediation is the secret to living a long and rich life.  Brown believes that practicing mindfulness is the most efficient way for us to counterbalance the fast-paced nature of our days.

Here are just 5 of the countless proven health benefits:

  • Clearer thinking and improved memory
  • Reduced risk of depression and anxiety
  • Relief from insomnia and other sleep disorder
  • A stronger immune system
  • Normalisation of weight

It’s all about technique

When it comes to how one should go about meditating, there is more to it than simply closing your eyes. Brown breaks the sometimes confronting practice into a three-step process for us all to check-off:

Have a mantra

No, it doesn’t mean you have to hum the stereotypical sound of “ommmmm” (though you most certainly can if it works for you!). In our fast-paced lives our minds naturally crave calmness, so choose a refined sound or message with a relaxed and charming quality – the sound of the ocean may do the trick!

Finding bliss

From wondering whether you’ve fed the dog or if you’re out of milk, it’s easy for the mind to wonder when trying to unwind, especially if you’re a newbie. Picking a quiet spot away from any distractions (yes, that includes your phone!), is arguably the most important step to a successful session. Taking slow and steady breaths, your mind will begin to move from the active, thought-filled layers through to the quieter, more peaceful layers until it reaches the most subtle level of thought. Known by meditation guru’s, like Brown, as ‘bliss consciousness,’ it is here you can let go of your mantra and fall into a complete state of rest.

Creating clarity

Once in this quiet state of mind, sources of clarity, energy, and creativity will be exposed. You can expect to feel more relaxed when your session has finished, placing any troubles you had prior to meditation into perspective.

Pro tips for a novice

When you hopped on a bike for the first time, you were far from a Tour de France competitor. In the same way, you aren’t expected to perfect mediation in one 20 minute sitting. Brown believes truly mastering the skill of switching off is all about baby steps and great support, and with so many resources out there it’s never been easier to learn! Take the new Fitbit Versa – the health and fitness watch will do more than count your steps, offering 2-minute guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate that will help you find your zen any time, anyplace.

Brown guarantees that practicing mindfulness for as little as 2minutes every day will have you seeing benefits, and when you do you will be encouraged to slowly extend your meditation time until you can comfortably fall into a concentrated state of being for the optimum 20 minute period with ease.

Can meditation replace sleep?

With few Australian’s getting the recommended 8hrs worth of zzz’s, the idea of using a couple of minutes of meditation in replacement of hours of sleep sounds too good to be true. Experts have in fact reported that 20 minutes of meditation can be energising as 3 to 4 hours sleep! In terms of Brown’s thoughts on the matter he believes that we don’t need sleep specifically, instead what we need is solid rest.

By now it’s no surprise that mediation is an excellent way of getting rest and relaxation into the body.

Practicing rest during the day means our mind and body isn’t left to process all that accumulated stress, fatigue and tension at night. With a lot of the hard work done, you’ll have a deeper more enjoyable sleep in a shorter space of time. Your more likely to wake up naturally and without the temptation to hit the dangerous ‘snooze’ on your alarm clock!

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