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Olwen Anderson's Blog

Finding yourself amongst the crowd

Saturday, December 23, 2017
Depending on your proximity to childhood you’ve probably heard of the picture books “Where’s Wally”. The game within them is to locate Wally amongst a crowd, with his distinctive bobbled beanie, glasses and red striped shirt. Apparently there’s been a plot twist recently: Wally has found himself. According to a humorous little cartoon in circulation, Wally has taken up meditation, a popular method for working out who you are.

Meditation sometimes gets a bad rap, more so from people who haven’t experienced the benefits. To the uninitiated, it certainly seems like an odd practice; people raving about how good it feels to sit still and do nothing for minutes at a time. And yet regular meditators seem to be calmer, handle life’s unavoidable stressors with more ease, enjoy life more. Meditation is well known as a simple way to improve your resilience to stress and feel happier without spending a cent.

But if you try it, then try it more than once. Like any new skill it’s going to take a while to master. Start easy – just one minute. All you have to do is find a comfortable place, switch off your mobile phone, close your eyes and allow your brain to rest. Just watch yourself breathing. Thoughts will pop up like bubbles in fizzy drink; just let them, and return your focus again to observing your breath.

A complaint I’ve heard about meditation is that you feel good straight after, but you have to keep practising it every day to maintain the feeling. That seems unfair, until you realise there are other things in life that don’t last forever, and have to be repeated daily to keep up the benefits. Like showering, for instance.  And dental hygiene.

Since this is the time of year when so many people set new year resolutions, you could do worse than make your 2018 resolution be to meditate daily. As much a part of your daily routine as showering and brushing your teeth. For instance, you might practise your meditation before heading out to work, or perhaps as soon as you arrive home, helping you unwind for the evening 

If you don’t feel confident meditating without structure there are plenty of meditation apps available, and groups with trained teachers.

Some weeks or months from now you might notice that you’re feeling happier and less easy to upset. And, like Wally, you might even find yourself in that silent space.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy "Your Holidays Restored You, Here's How To Hang On To The Benfits"

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Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


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